Mountain of Talent Found at Elementary School

Photos by Jackie BODNAR


For those who like singing, dancing, or playing an instrument, Mountain Avenue Elementary School offered these and more at its student talent show held on March 5. The theme was “Mountain Avenue’s Got Talent!” and over 43 acts debuted proving this was true. The show was in the evening so students could showcase their talents for friends and family, as well as for several teachers and the principal who were in attendance. (The talent show took place prior to the recent recommendation by Gov. Gavin Newsom to cancel gatherings of more than 250 people, and practice social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 from the novel coronavirus.) 

Students sang songs, danced, cheered, played piano and other instruments, and even gave a demonstration of taekwando and performed a fun stand-up comedy skit using a “pet dinosaur” and ventriloquism. Joshua Copi entertained the audience with his jokes in his dinosaur comedy act. Khaleesi Holguin and Clementine Roseren performed a “CV Pearls“ cheer.

An audience favorite was the song and dance “It’s a Small World” performed by Harper Goldsworthy, Sawyer Goldsworthy, Amelia Beaumont, Cedar Gardner, Alison Curtis, Siena Kimber Torres, Ahnya Hall, and Sammy Lee. The troupe all wore beautiful costumes from around the world and said “hello” and “goodbye” in various languages at the beginning and end of their performance. 

Another dance was performed in the dark by Kara Welch and Ella Rose Risso who wore light suits so the audience could see all of their dance movements.

Principal Jaclyn Scott said, “At the talent show, you get to see everybody’s unique talents. I am so thankful for the PTA for organizing the talent show. PTA has [organized] the talent show for three years but Mountain Avenue has been doing talent shows for many years, since it was previously organized through the school by a teacher.”

One of the PTA co-chairs of the event, Jennifer Penez, remarked, “The talent show gets kids to come out of their shell and show their talents.”

Latha Risso, another PTA co-chair of the event, noted, “The talent show is a great opportunity for the kids to get over their fears, have fun, and showcase their talents.”

Seventy-five students from grades TK through sixth displayed their talents in the show. Avril Coba, a fifth grader, performed some impressive taekwondo moves, including breaking boards in half with her fist.

“I’ve been practicing for the talent show for about a week, but I’ve been doing taekwondo for around five years, said Coba. “I started taekwondo because I liked how the it looked and it seemed really interesting.”

Matthew and Charlie Blood, sixth grade and third grade brothers, performed in the talent show too. They practiced for two months to prepare for the show.

Matthew Blood said, “I like how many people came and it is fun to perform.”

Brother Charlie added, “I like to play the piano and have everyone listen and clap.” 

Kindergartener Madison Leung played a rendition of “Mary Had A Little Lamb: and other piano performers included Maya Hakushi, Mika Lamn, David Whinston, Vivek Arunachalam, Pranav Arunachalam, Cameron Paxton, Nathan Akraratana, Christina Park, Ryder Brooks, and Iva Encontro. 

Singers included Ella Rose Risso (accompanied by Zora McCoy on guitar and Wille Rhodes on drums) as well as Noah Mesropian, Noah and Solomon Whinston, Christina Park, Christine Nam, Finnley Gardner, Valentina Luna, Chloe Gerstein, Lanhee Mo, Lily Gibson, Natalia Bravo-Guiterrez, Khaleesi Holguin, Micaela Quino, Kai-lan Holguin, and Chloe Gerstein. 

The audience also enjoyed intricate and entertaining dances by Suzy Bodnar, Alisha Singh, Jacob Quino, Addison Davidson, Abbie Lammering, Andre Hovsepian, Sammy Lee, Zeta Stallcup, Paige Jansen, Eva DiMundo, Ava Eccles, Emma Pal, Sarah Ortiz and Kai-lan Holguin.

Families were abundance in the audience. Dena Blood was there to watch her kids perform.

“I loved the creativity of all of the participants,” said Blood. “There was a lot of variety and incredibly talented kids. I am so grateful that the PTA sponsors this event every year because it encourages our youth to express themselves and learn to enhance their talents. The energy in the room was electrifying!”

The PTA Committee that helped put on the show included Jennifer Penez and Latha Risso (co-chairs), Wendy Goldsworthy, Michelle Paxton and Dan DiMundo (backstage managers), and Stephanie Beaumont and Wes Brown (stage decorations).  Other parent helpers included Gean Rhodes, Samya McCoy, April Powell, Dora Luna, and Kathy Necus (PTA president).