Oak Bluffs' Got Talent

Students of the Oak Bluffs School impress at their annual talent show.

Leah Hairston sings "House of the Rising Sun," and accompanied herself on guitar. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The exciting 17th annual Oak Bluffs School talent show took place last Friday and Saturday, featuring students ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade, and even a few teachers and parents. This year’s show featured singers, dancers, harpers, cellists, violinists, guitarists, and more.

Highlights over the two evenings included Hayleigh LeCoq belting out a rocking version of “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” Aiden Weiland playing his haunting original fiddle composition “Distant Rain,” the always eagerly anticipated tae kwon do demonstration from Team Blitz, and Ali Dyke performing a fantastically impressive gymnastics routine. Several student singers demonstrated further talent by accompanying themselves on guitar, including Robert Hanjian with his rendition of “Fade Away,” Leah Hairston wowing the crowd with her powerful vocals on “House of the Rising Sun,” Victoria Searle duetting with Sarah Lytle on “Viva la Vida,” and Skylar Hall with his reggae-inflected “I’m Yours.” Others sang while accompanying themselves on piano, including Ruby and Klara Reimann with their dramatic and beautiful rendition of “Oceans.” It was also a family affair for many acts, such as Kaya Seiman’s inspiring rendition of “No One’s Stopping Me” accompanied by her father Rob Oslyn on the guitar, Emily Mello singing “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” to the sounds of her father Rick Mello on guitar, and Owen Atkins’ spirited “Crossroad Blues” with his father Neil Atkins also on guitar. At one point the entire Weiland family was onstage together, playing the traditional Celtic tune “Aranee Ghelbee,” featuring Avalon on harp, Liam on cello, Brian on guitar and flute, and Aiden and Jennifer on violin.

As usual, the live house band accompanied all of the acts, which included Paul Thurlow on bass, Island string teacher Nancy Jephcote on violin, and Liam Weiland on cello, drums, and guitar.
The purpose of this event is to help students discover and participate in the joy and excitement of real old-fashioned live music performance and that joy was apparent on the faces of both the performers and the audience members last weekend.