Thursday June 21, 2012
The weather for the 6th annual “South Burlington Has Talent” show looked like it was going to be perfect for accommodating the outdoor performances. The Sausage Shack wafted enticing aromas across the Dorset Park lawn, and children and adults alike ventured over to Face Mania for impressive face painting and air-brushed tattoos. SB Rotary member Jay Pasackow said, “The true highlight over the years has been when, in fact, we could hold the event at the band shell and for everyone to enjoy a delightful summer evening under the stars.” As families gathered with their chairs, blankets, and snacks, it looked like we were all in for an evening of fantastic community entertainment.
Pasackow described how the event came to be: “The event began eight years ago, when the Rotary Club of South Burlington wanted to do something for the community. We came up with the idea for a band shell in Dorset Park. After obtaining city approval we went out and had it designed, raised the money and had it built. Upon completion we gave it to the City of South Burlington as a gift for their continued use. With all the effort that it took, the Rotary felt it important that we continue to have some sort of presence in relationship with the band shell, now known as the Rotary Band Shell. America’s Got Talent was becoming well known on TV at the time and we felt that an amateur show along that line would be great. It could highlight the amazing talent in our community, which it has.” Pasackow is one of the co-chairs for the event along with South Burlington Recreation Department Director Tom Hubbard. Their experience and efforts in the show’s 6th-year were evident Sunday evening.
Resident Jamie Polli, the event emcee, started the evening by introducing the local celebrity judges, two of whom had been judges at the show since its inception: Dr. Lewis First of Vermont Children’s Hospital and Sharon Meyer of WCAX. Miss Vermont 2011 Katie Levasseur rounded out the judge’s table.
The show quickly moved along to youth category participants. Katherine Hankes moved the crowd to their feet when she performed The National Anthem. Dr. First said, “You hit every note. I was moved to stand before you even started singing.” Of the seven youth category contestants, six sang and one six-year-old, Jayden Mutume, performed a dance routine that impressed the judges and audience alike. He was honored with receiving the Judges Cup at the closing ceremony. It was eleven-year-old Henry Demeritt’s first time on the talent show stage and he won first place for his performance of the Maroon 5 song, “She Will Be Loved.” He said he had been practicing since January and it certainly showed. Sharon Meyer said, “I would pay money to go to one of your concerts right now.”
The teen category consisted of many polished performers. Several displayed their dual talents of singing while playing the keyboard. The South Burlington High School Bollywood Dance Club (Anisha Vadehra, Reema Sameen, Arianna Manazir, Fathima Sameen, Grace Iasilli, Neharika Khandavalli, Pabitra Sharma, Joy Cohen, Tenzen Dolma, Elianna Cohen, Aina Rattu, Hina Rattu, and Sierra Cooper) while only having been in existence for two months, gave a riveting performance! They were awarded the Judges Cup. Eva Rawlings and Marissa Pelino performed an a cappella duet of the Tom Petty song “Walls.” Despite Marissa’s broken leg, she stood throughout their performance and did a fantastic job. The duo was awarded first place.
Overcast skies and a few sprinkles began to dampen the grass, but not the spirits of the contestants or audience. The adult division began with Wendy Bombard singing “I Will Always Love You.” This was her sixth year performing and she hit every difficult note. The judges noticed and she was awarded the Judges Cup. After her performance, the rain transitioned from a drizzle to a downpour and audience members grabbed blankets, umbrellas, and huddled under tents. Few individuals actually left the event, so the show continued! Don Dalton, 92, impressed again this year with his spoon playing. The Pinnacle Drive group (Art Rovner, Kathy Schwarzenberger, Bill Bauer, Kevin Donahue, Roger Young) closed out the show. They managed to rouse the crowd from under their shelters and into the grass for a little dancing. As the rain subsided, the judges deliberated and decided to award The Pinnacle Drive group first place.
Other Youth Category participants included Liza Stone, Skylar Hunter Barbarow, Jasmine Bombard and Gianna Morin. The Teen category was rounded out by Macie Sloan, Maraika Lumholdt, Basundhara Mukherjee, and Lydia Ambaye. In the Adult Category, additional participants were Ellen Lyon and Amanda Blanford.
This annual community event confirmed what many already knew: South Burlington most definitely has talent.
SOURCE: Corey Burdick, Correspondent