Spectacular kicks it up

Dec. 21, 2008, midnight | By Sophie Schwadron | 11 years, 10 months ago

SGR doesn't miss a beat in pooling top Blair talent for charity

With every lick of the guitar, thump of the drum and tinker of bells, rapture ripened in the eyes of the crowd. They came fleeing the cold December rain and found an exciting, eclectic mix of poetry, music, humor, dance and adrenalizing altruism. For yet another year, the Students for Global Responsibility's cultural extravaganza, known as the SGR Spectacular, displayed the brilliant talent of Blair's diverse community.

Photo: Those Guys, a group composed of juniors Paris Essoumba, Gabriel Jones, Jonathan Guzman, Philip Kavuma and Jonathan Hayes, performs at SGR Spectacular last year.

At least $1,000 was raised to support Grassroot Soccer, reported Spectacular organizer and SGR President David Meyer. The organization collects money and supplies to use soccer as a tool for social change. Between 200 and 500 people filtered through Friday night, Meyer said, some bringing old cleats to donate.

The show opened to a small crowd with a last minute fill-in, senior Abdul Aziz-Nuriddin, whose gentle voice balanced a coy look. Former Blazer Jumi Bello and senior Anna Hadfield displayed poetic panache, Hadfield particularly notable for her couldn't-be-better-said commentary on authenticity and adventure. Blair's Diva Dancers took the stage with an evident lack of energy, so all eyes stayed on the group's star, senior Darcye Taylor. The show rolled on and more people rolled in.

As Blazers, parents and friends began pouring through the doors, the acts began to heat up the chilly atmosphere. Sophomore Hein Le and Blair's a cappella group, InToneNation, filled the SAC with their refined voices. The Blair Breakers got the audience on their feet by getting off of theirs with a humorous mix blending breathtaking flips and spins with an 'NSYNC spoof.

The next two acts, an indie rock set by juniors Alex Joseph and Adolay Ammah-Tagoe and a metal set by seniors Hans Perkasa and Greg Pinkney, though clearly skilled musically, fell a bit flat with the crowd as the energy began to fade. It was quickly resuscitated by the humor of the Canadadates and the crowd-pleasing hip-hop group Those Guys. As one of the more unique acts, the latter combined biting hip-hop lyricism, crisp humor and melodic voices overlaid on live drums, bass and guitar. Those Guys were perhaps last year's Tori Heller or 2006's Action Jackson - the next big Blair group to surprise everyone at the SGR Spectacular. Expect big things from Those Guys.

Intermission brought the yearly tradition of SGaRm wrestling. By paying a dollar, audience members could compete against one another's pride, honor and dignity. Standout performances included Hadfield, senior Joe Gilbert and a mysterious red-shirted University of Maryland football player.

Meanwhile, casual reminders of the underlying cause lay scattered around the stage. From cleats crowding tables to soccer ball stickers littering posters, the decorations crew masterfully displayed the ability of subtle suggestion while adding an aesthetic flair.

As the lights dimmed once more, Blair's folk music sensation, senior Tori Heller, stepped on stage to play two of her original songs and an angelic rendition of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot." Heller, who self-produced and released a CD entitled "A Blue-eyed Sea" this summer, commanded an awing respect. The crowd instantly hushed as she walked on stage, her presence serenely striking. The serenity was promptly smashed - in the best possible way - by the talented young Attributes who featured guest stars Joseph and Churchill's Kiera Mulhern.

Photo: During intermission, students participated in "SGaRm Wrestling" by donating a dollar to Grassroot Soccer.

Initial technical difficulties only heightened the anticipation for Blair air band Action Jackson and the Go-Getters. The group, led by senior Sam Barth, stormed through a crowd-pumping enactment of "Walk This Way" (originally) by Aerosmith and Run-DMC. The team of five then led the audience through their version of "Jingle Bell Rock" by Billy Idol and ended with their notorious performance of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing." Perhaps not the most talented "musician," Barth is certainly an actor and a star.

The show came to a close with Kestexperience (the second group to appear decked out in soccer outfits), which showed tremendous growth since just a year ago. Featuring guest saxophonist senior Owen Flannagan and percussionist senior Motuma Ayana, the duo of senior Jon Kesten and Wootton senior Andrew Van Haren played the right covers to get the crowd dancing on stage, culminating a night that built up as it went on. "Everyone did great," Meyer said. "People came, people had fun and we did a good thing."

Additional reporting by Lucas Farrar.

Editors' note: David Meyer is the Managing News Editor for Silver Chips Print.

Sophie Schwadron. Sophie Schwadron has been told her last name means "someone who talks too much" in German, which is funny, because she has also been told she's a chatterbox, which is also funny, because chatterbox is a funny word. A fan of anything made by Wham-O … More »

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