Talented kids prepare to wow audience at talent show

Michelle Stuckey
February 18, 2011 at 9:21 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Blaine Ockerman, an HHS junior, will play acoustic guitar and sing
Michelle Stuckey
Blaine Ockerman, an HHS junior, will play acoustic guitar and sing "Cheerleaders" by Her Sweet Autumn Misery.
For the second year, talented St. Charles Parish youth will come together and compete during the St. Charles Has Talent show.

Many area talents will be showcased, including a step team, a lyrical dancer, the popular Rowdy Rough Boys band and many other singers and dancers.

The show was founded last year by the 4-H Junior Leader Club to raise awareness and support for the arts. The event will take place at Hahnville High School on Friday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m.

“The Junior Leader Club loves the arts and wanted to do a talent show,” said Kali Zammit, in charge of organizing the show. “It’s also a fundraiser for them to go on an educational trip.”

Last year’s show allowed the club and Zammit to iron out some kinks, such as poor timing and sound problems. Thanks to a $1,000 grant from the River Region Arts and Humanities Council, the group was able to buy new speakers and a new sound system for this year’s event. The show was also cut down to only 20 performers this year to make sure it stays within a reasonable time length.

They held preliminary auditions, which 35 hopefuls showed up for, but 15 were cut from the final line-up.

Zammit said that while it was hard to turn anyone down, it was necessary to keep the show a successful length.
Those making the final cut include many first-time and seasoned performers.

The Rowdy Rough Boys competed in last year’s show, but have since added a new member.

After seeing Faith Becnel sing in last year’s talent show, the boy band decided it was time to add a girl to its roster. The group of 12-year-olds, now called The Rowdy Rough Boys + a Girl, think the change has improved their overall performance.

“We needed a girl singer because we had only boys’ songs,” said Chancey Cothren, who plays drums in the band. “She’s a really good singer.”

Becnel said she is glad to be a part of the band, but still performs solo for private parties and other events.
Since last year’s performance, the group has competed and won at the Louisiana Kids State Competition and the American Kids National Competition.

The band members are not the only experienced performers at this year’s talent show.

Hurst Middle School student Cali Zeringue, 13, already used her sign language talent to win 3rd place at the Beta Club District Day this year.

“My parents, relatives and friends all said that I should enter the talent show, so I did,” Zeringue said.
She will be signing the song “I can only imagine” by Mercy Me.

Including Zeringue, 13 of the 20 performances in the show include singing.

Logan Tauzin, a 6th grader from Lakewood Elementary, performed a song from the Broadway musical “13.” Tauzin said that unlike other singers, she learned her talents from doing musical theater like her brother. She has been performing for years and has recently performed in “Alice in Wonderland” and “Annie.”

She learned about the show when her friends participated in it last year. While she has performed in front of audiences before, this will be her first time competing.

Mariah Matherne, a 10th grade homeschool student, has also honed her singing skills by performing in musical theater. She first became involved in singing when she was 4 years old and took part in the St. Gertrude Church Christmas program. Since then, she has performed with La Petite Theater in Houma in a number of musicals.

Judging this year’s event are 4-H Southeast Regional Coordinator Renee’ Castro, 2002 HHS graduate Gina Cazenave, Director of Community Impact for the United Way of St.

Charles Kacy Kernan, Executive Secretary for the St. Charles Parish President’s Office Anedra Coleman and local singer and songwriter Jake Smith. At the end of the show, winners for K-6th grade and 7th-12th grade will be announced.

To order advanced tickets to the show for $5, visit the 4-H office on Thursday or Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or see any 4-H Junior Leader member. Tickets will be sold at the door for $7.

View other articles written Michelle Stuckey

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