On Friday, January 11, Pawling Public Radio, “The Beat of the Valley,” hosted its fourth annual “Pawling’s Got Talent” at Pawling High School. Board Chairman Bill Bonecutter kicked off the nearly sold-out event with a welcome announcement before handing over the reigns to Master of Ceremonies Jeff Arnold. Returning for his fourth engagement, Jeff kept the night’s festivities moving at an enjoyable clip with his witty delivery and humorous commentary. Pawling resident Joan Roberts chaired the event and organized all aspects of the show, gathering talent from the community, as well as coordinating publicity and the bake sale held at intermission.
The talent contest was broken down into two divisions, Junior and Senior. With piano accompaniment by Brianne Chasanoff, the Junior Division consisted of Griffin Arnold, Emma Leahy, Klara Dziurdzinski, Christina Maston, Sebastian Ore, Alyssa Garcia, Rosmary Notaro, Magolia Garbarino, Carissa Clark, Josie and Baily O’Leary, and Ethan Milord and Samantha Rodney. The Senior Division contestants included Michael Bai, Gianna Torres, Mariah Warren, John Comerford, Kayla Nappi, Danielle Noonan, Danielle Chu, Annalee Pagliaro and Yury Herbel, and Noelle Vitro and Emma Donovan. Jim Lowe and David Frost (non-competitors) concluded the evening with a rousing sing along of “God Bless America.”
The contestants were judged on three criteria which included quality of performance, connection with audience, and if the performance was energetic, cheerful upbeat and fun. Judges for the event were Kim Fontana, Pawling Central School District Asst. Superintendent for Instruction, Megan Gleason, Vice Principal of Pawling Middle School, and two of WPWL’s show hosts, Jacque Roche and Michael Shustak.
It was obvious from the start that selecting a winner was going to be difficult, which Vice Principal Gleason commented upon when addressing the auditorium. Winners for each division received a monetary prize and trophy.
Junior division winners were 1st place, Alyssa Garcia, vocalist; 2nd Place, Sebastian Ore, piano; and in 3rd, the duo vocalists Griffin Arnold and Emma Leahy. Senior winners were Michael Bai, piano, 1st place; John Commerford, acoustic guitar/vocals 2nd; and 3rd place was awarded to the tap dancing duo of Noelle Vitro and Emma Donovan.
Note: For previous coverage of this successful community event, see Lauren Radicchi’s feature article at PawlingRecord.org online.