SJC Long Island’s annual talent show last Friday featured a special invitee – the College’s president.
Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D., dazzled the audience inside the Muriel & Virginia Pless Center for Performing Arts in O’Connor Hall with a lively fiddle performance. The president performed with two students from the North American Roots Music class he is teaching at SJC Long Island this semester.
“I didn’t get this gig just because I’m the president,” said Dr. Boomgaarden, a country fiddler; concert pianist; and noted historian of 18th-Century opera, music aesthetics and harmonic theory.
Dr. Boomgaarden said he “personally asked” Gina Mingoia, who provided the vocals, and Christian Szajna, who played the guitar, to perform with him on stage at the SJC Long Island Student Government Association’s 19th annual Talent Show. The trio played three songs, including Chris Stapleton’s country ballad, “Broken Halos,” and a fiddle classic, “Old Joe Clark.”
The rest of the show included a diverse array of more than 20 singing and dancing acts, all of which added to the night’s festive and energetic atmosphere. Student Government Association President J.R. Kay served as the event’s emcee, introducing himself as “Master of Ceremonies – the carefree emcee who’s working on his degree.”
Kay organized the show, along with fellow SGA members Angela Vetere, Bobby Dilworth and Kaitlyn Rodriguez. Proceeds from the event will be donated to The Cerebral Palsy Foundation.
The show’s first-place prize went to student Lexy Gouskos, who won the crowd and judges over with her sign-language performance of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.” Second and third place went to SJC students Jude Andre, who performed Micheal Buble’s hit song “Haven’t Met You Yet,” and Thomas Lownd’s suit-and-tie smooth performance of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”
The SJC Dance Team garnered special recognition for their “Hip Hop” performance. Student Cecelia Young’s interpretive dance to Sia’s “Elastic Heart earned the night’s “Audience Choice.”
The talent show, which ran until a little past 10 p.m. was a hit not only because of the students – and the president – who participated, but also due to the way in which it brought the SJC community together for a great cause and a night to remember.