Mark Keppel presents first annual “Keppel’s Got Talent”

Keppel’s first talent show, “Keppel’s Got Talent,” took place on Friday, November 7 in the auditorium.

The show featured 32 Keppel acts of students and faculty, who performed talents ranging from singing and dancing to playing the Chinese zither, each performance being three minutes or under.  The program consisted of two acts, with a 15 minute intermission in between each act. The show was judged by Youtubers David and Andrew Fung of the Fung Brothers, along with Richie Le.

The winner of the talent show was freshman Nicole Ruiz whose talent was singing “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri.  Ruiz decided to audition for the talent show because she has enjoyed singing ever since she was little. She did not have that much preparation before the show, but did practice with an audience at karaoke in Little Tokyo, which her parents signed her up for a week before Keppel’s Got Talent.

Ruiz said, “I’m still processing the moment when they announced my name, over and over. It’s hard to believe I actually won. It’s such a great honor for me, being a freshman, and there were so many other great acts by people who were older. I’m just very happy.”

Taking the second place trophy was the “Mark Keppel Stanley Lin Band” which included freshman Stanley Lin on the guitar, freshman Daniel Tang also on the guitar, sophomore Tiffany Joa on the violin, freshman Andy Lau on the viola, and freshman Henry Phannguyen singing. The members of the band were originally performing “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith, but changed their piece when they were informed that another performer would be singing this song. The song they ended up performing was “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train.  Joa arranged the parts of the song for the violin and viola, while the rest of the piece’s music was found online, but altered to fit the key of their performance.  Practices before the show consisted of three to four group meetings before the actual show, along with individual practice.

Lau said, “Being up stage felt great. From the practices we had together, confidence was born and that was the core thing that really set the excited emotions more than the nervous [emotions].”

Third place for the competition went to freshmen Kyle Truong and Maurice Rooks, who performed a dance routine. Rooks decided to perform because of his past experience performing in talent shows at his middle school, as well as to show his love for dancing which is shared by his dance partner, Truong. Truong wanted participate in the talent show because of his experience with dancing on stage since he is part of a group called Junior Hit List.

Truong said, “Being on stage is a unique feeling. For dancers, we don’t always have chances to dance, so having a chance to do it was great.”

Truong and Rooks conflicting schedules did not allow them to practice as much as hoped, but they did prepare some simple choreography and freestyled most of the rest.

Rooks stated, “The feeling [of being onstage] was exhilarating and the audience’s cheers pimped adrenaline.”

Profits from the talent show went towards supporting the drama department’s trip to Scotland which will take place in August of 2015. Below is a slideshow of some of the Keppel’s Got Talent acts.


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