By Sophie Smith
Holt Journal staff writer
Being a “ham” is perfectly acceptable at the HAMmy Talent Challenge!
Applause filled the performance room of Buddies Grill in Holt Tuesday Feb. 25 as people young and old took to the stage to showcase their talent at the second annual HAMmy Talent Challenge.
The event, sponsoring the H.O.L.T. Scholarship, was put on by Delhi Charter Township.
Dozens of contestants danced, sang and played their way through the evening, hoping to advance to the next round.
“I’m here to support my best friends who are performing tonight,” said Holt High School sophomore Ryan Taber as she patiently waited for the show to get started.
There are three rounds of the competition, according to event director C.J. Davis. The third round determines the final winners who will have the opportunity to perform during the Music in the Garden Concert Series in July as well as the Holt Hometown festival in August.
First-time contestants John and Marilyn Watt, a violin and guitar duo, said they read about the talent challenge on a flyer at the local Family Video.
“We’ve been practicing at home a lot,” said Marilyn Watt. “This whole event is for a great cause and we could not be more excited to be a part of it.”
The couple said they had several family members coming to watch them perform a folk song. They have been playing together as a married couple for several years.
A large majority of contestants of the HAMmy Talent Challenge were high school students at Holt High School.
“We heard about the talent challenge from the announcements at school,” said contestant Sydney Luea, a sophomore at Holt High School.
Madison Austin, sophomore at Holt High School and last year’s second-place winner of the challenge, said she was eager to get up on stage and perform again.
“I loved being able to sing at the Summer Concert Series last summer,” said Austin. “I’ve been singing ever since I was little and this is a fun way to show everyone my talent and love for singing.”
Holt Sophomore Sierra Jean broke out of the singing pattern and chose to twirl glowing batons as her talent.
“I’ve been twirling since I was three,” said Jean. “This is my first year performing at this challenge and I really like that it’s supporting the H.O.L.T. scholarship.”
Jean enjoys twirling because she said it’s something she knows she’s good at it and it catches people’s attention.
The contestants were judged on four criteria, according to Davis. They were singing or performing ability, appearance, stage presence and overall performance.