Stratford’s Got Talent

Budding superstar Savannah Alday belted out Prince’s 1984 hit Purple Rain to close out the upper school talent show — then she and her band took over the stage for a mini concert as the crowd cheered, danced, and sang along.

Alday’s act capped an evening of hilarious and jaw-dropping acts from upper school students in all grades. The talent show, which was moved back a week because of snow days, was hosted by the junior class to raise money for prom.

Singing in the talent show has become a tradition for sophomores Ally Parker and Conner Hefner, who performed Great Big World’s “Say Something,” accompanied by senior Stacey Dorogy on piano.

“We wanted to find little ways to make it our own and change it a little from the way that Great Big World sings it,” Parker said. “We wanted to sing a song that is popular right now. It’s always fun to sing a song that we both like and that everyone knows.”

Although Parker and Hefner sang at last year’s show, she said that performing in front of high school peers still can be very nerve wracking.
“It’s very intimidating at first. We were really nervous before we went onstage, but once we started singing, we calmed down,” she said.

Junior class students traditionally host the show, introduce the performers, and provide comedic filler during set changes, and this year’s MC’s were Chandler Banks, Sean Grossnickle, Cole Garrett, and Sam Jenkins. They opened the show with a facetious ballet number that quickly transformed into a parody of Miley Cyrus’s hit song, “Wrecking Ball.”

“We come up with the things to say out of our natural funniness,” Banks said.

Junior class adviser Ms. Maddie Henderson headed up preparations for the show and selected the acts that would perform. According to Henderson, acts were selected based on how much time they take and how long the show can last.

“This year, there were people that wanted to be in multiple acts, and we had to ask them to combine their acts to shorten the show,” Henderson said. Once the acts are selected, Ms. Marilyn Walker put the acts in order based on who needs pianos, microphones, and other technical support – all in an effort to divine the most efficient way to get the performers on and off stage.

In addition to selling tickets to show, which were $5 for students, the junior class also held a raffle for late homework passes, free quiz grades, and other freebies offered by teachers.

“This year we didn’t sell as many raffles as last year,” said Henderson, adding that she thought this was probably due to the snow days and fragmented schedule. “The days we had off were our main days to promote and sell the raffles.”