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Talent & Variety Show This Friday

There is an old saying that the “family that plays together, stays together.” The Oyster Bay East Norwich community is very much like one big extended family. Every year the Oyster Bay High School holds a Talent and Variety Show featuring the talents of students and staff playing together. Another annual event is International Night sponsored by the foreign language department. This year, the two events are joining forces in an extravaganza of international cuisine, culture and entertainment.

The show will be held on Friday, Jan. 17 in the Oyster Bay High School Performing Arts Center (the PAC) at 8 p.m. The admission for the show is $5. However, for $7, patrons can enjoy dinner and a show. At 6:30 p.m. there will be a sampling of international foods in the high school cafeteria. The $7 ticket allows access to the food and the show to follow.

And what a show it will be. There will be the usual array of student and staff talent as well as some professional entertainers featuring culture from around the world.

The show kicks off with a performance by Bakithi Kumalo from Soweto, South Africa. Kumalo is best known as the bass player for Paul Simon, and is prominently featured on the Grammy winning Graceland album. Kumalo will be joined by Oyster Bay’s own Tom Gould on guitar and vocals and OBHS senior Stevie Matthews on vibes.

Freshman Angela Parry makes her talent show debut featuring her marvelous singing. Abigail Santiago will make her first appearance in the talent show playing the piano. Also making her talent show debut will be junior Jamie Burke. She will be featured in a duet with talent show veteran and senior Grey Warwick-Clark.

Junior Nathalie Mejia returns to the big stage after her command performance on the Pearls of Oyster Bay CD released last year. Mejia will be accompanied by Stevie Matthews on piano.

Senior Hannah Kulis is known to practice her piano up to three hours a day. She is a wonderful talent and is sure to delight the crowd with her inspired touch on the Steinway grand piano as she performs a beautiful classical piece.

Sophomore Charlie Dane has already made a name for herself as a professional singer songwriter. She has two well-produced CDs and has played countless festivals, stages, events and radio. Dane will perform songs from her impressive original songbook. At just 15 years old, Dane has been writing songs for years and vocal skills are nothing short of amazing. Visit www.charliedane.net.

The international flavor of the show will feature a group of seventh-grade dancers directed by teacher Jacklin Luciano: Ibania Cardoza, Brittany Cohen, Kayleigh Crawford, Cinthia Gutierrez and Samantha Sluka.

Some of the youngest members of the community will get involved through a performance by the Hispanic Cultural Center of Oyster Bay.

These young performers will get to experience the thrill of sharing the stage with professional entertainers as the international flare is represented with a flamenco dancer, a Brazilian Samba artist, a West Coast swing dancing duo and even a Middle Eastern belly dancer.

The United States is very much a part of the landscape of international culture with its invention, rock and roll. Senior Stevie Matthews will sit down at the drums and will be miked up for vocals as he leads a new band called Dysfunctional Reality. Mathews will be joined by seniors Joey Sheehan on guitar, Mike Sonta on bass and Danilo Tumasella on vocals.

For the past 20 years the talent show has been filled with a very talented group of performers. The event is presented by the Oyster Bay High School Media Arts Club, guided by advisor Tom Gould. The Media Arts Club officers include President Stevie Matthews, Vice President Hannah Kulis, Treasurer Hannah Guarini, Secretary Charlie Dane, and Historian Ally Thienel.

 It is a much anticipated evening of entertainment, now in its third decade at Oyster Bay High School.