Saturday, August 30, 2014

COBBS: Students display innate talents on stage

By RYAN COBBS, Ottawa High School | 5/5/2014

I believe some people are born with innate talents that most of us lack — for instance, the pitcher who is blessed with the 95 mph fastball, the writer with incredible wordsmithing abilities, and the singer with the incredible voice. Of course, that’s not to say those with such incredible talents do not work long, hard hours to hone and master their skills. Some people simply have it, and others aspire to have those talents.

A number of musicians recently put their skills and talents on stage in the 2014 Ottawa High School Variety Show, “A Night at the Movies.” The ability for anyone to put themselves on stage in front of hundreds of people speaks volumes about their courage, poise and confidence as performers.

I believe some people are born with innate talents that most of us lack — for instance, the pitcher who is blessed with the 95 mph fastball, the writer with incredible wordsmithing abilities, and the singer with the incredible voice. Of course, that’s not to say those with such incredible talents do not work long, hard hours to hone and master their skills. Some people simply have it, and others aspire to have those talents.

A number of musicians recently put their skills and talents on stage in the 2014 Ottawa High School Variety Show, “A Night at the Movies.” The ability for anyone to put themselves on stage in front of hundreds of people speaks volumes about their courage, poise and confidence as performers.

In the two-act show — performed Friday and Saturday nights — Cyclone students showcased humor, instrumental performances on piano as well as a violin duet, vocal performances with instrumental accompaniment, solo vocal performances, rock and roll, multiple choirs, the OHS Jazz Band, the Cytones, as well as a number of other acts. The variety show is in its second year under the direction of Lori Underwood and Courtney Williams. To date, the show certainly hasn’t disappointed. The students’ innate abilities were obvious during the performance.

Some of the student performers had a charisma and charm about them, transfixing the audience as soon as they took the stage. They had the ability to draw you in and take you down the path to experience what they are doing on the stage while staying in your seat. Bryan Turner captured the audience in such a way with his rendition of “Johnny B. Goode,” alongside fellow classmates Seth Roberts and Brandon Kunard. Bryan’s presence on stage showed the audience a young man who is inspired to perform and relishes the opportunity to put on a show for the audience. Another showcase of voices included Nancy Kuczmarski and Riley Yount with an incredible rendition of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” with Brandin Bell on guitar, Katie Wooge singing “Safe and Sound” with Connor Medlen, Courtney Houston with Spencer Morgan singing “In Dreams,” and Tony Martin with Bryan Turner with an amazing performance of “I See Fire” just to name a few.

As a principal, the most intriguing piece is to watch our students able to perform in a different way than what we typically get to see. We have the opportunity to watch our students excel in the classroom every day, we can watch our students showcase their athletic abilities on the field of play nearly every week, and we have several opportunities to watch our musicians perform in group settings multiple times per year.

The variety show allows our students to do something a little different and provide us the opportunity to share in their achievements. Jon Kuczmarski is a student who earlier this year won a math contest at Ottawa University, providing nearly $70,000 scholarship monies. His abilities in math are well documented within our school, however, he displayed another talent during the show with an incredible solo piano performance of “Go the Distance.” Kinley Jorgenson and Hannah Heatherman also displayed their instrumental talents with a violin duet of “Over the Rainbow.”

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all our students who performed in the show as well as Williams and Underwood for all of their work in putting it on. The variety show has proven once again that the talents of our students is immense and far reaching. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for our students as they continue to hone and master their skills.

Dr. Ryan Cobbs is principal at Ottawa High School. Email him at cobbsr@usd290.org or call (785) 229-8020.

comments powered by Disqus