Sophomore Toni Ramientos stood beneath the glow of pink and blue lights, captivated by the energized crowd before her.
Part of the new band Heather Gray, Ramientos took stage at SPU’s annual Talent Show on Friday, Feb. 10, with her fellow bandmates.
Royal Brougham transformed from the realm of sports to a realm of live performance as students and alumni alike presented their finest talents.
“We wanted to show that diversity in music is really important,” Ramientos said. “We all come from completely different backgrounds, and we shouldn’t confine ourselves to one genre.”
The talent show served as Heather Gray’s debut performance. The group consists of Ramientos, sophomore Nicholas Burton and sophomore Maureen Dixson.
“Honestly, I think what sets us apart is our willingness to be ourselves,” Burton said. “Everybody is going through things, and you don’t have to do it alone. We are all coming from different states of mental illness and minority group. [Tonight] I wanted everyone to feel like there is something they can relate to.”
At this year’s talent show, STUB aimed to bring culture and diversity to the stage. One of the hosts, Sarah Ann Moh, represented the International Student Union on campus.
The hosts entertained the crowd between performances with a spiel of corny jokes. SPU 2014 alumni Jerrell Davis had the opportunity to both judge and perform a series of rap songs speaking to issues surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement and other injustices against minorities.
“It was interesting and good to be back on stage,” Davis said. “It was a blessing to be back here and have a platform to perform and speak truth, real truth.”
SPU’s hip-hop club Ante Up was a crowd favorite with their contemporary vibes and dance off, a performance that spilled off the stage and engaged the audience throughout.
The music group “Luke and the Pedestrians,” featured junior Luke Martin, junior Maurice Butts, senior Forrest Reed and senior Scott Swenson, who have all previously collaborated musically throughout the city of Seattle, but they brought it to campus for the talent show.
Several of SPU’s talented performers lifted the crowd through their folk, bond and Americana genre.
Senior Joelle Morris and senior Robert Park as “The Disco Duo” glided across the stage astonishing the crowd with their technical lifts and choreography of diverse centuries of music put to dance.
“Beans,” a musical collaboration featuring sophomore Nicholas Burton majoring in music tech, first-year Hunter Rath majoring in music tech, and senior Scott Swenson majoring in educational ministries collaborated and did a grunge cover of “Blind Willie Mctell” by Bob Dylan.
Winner of the People’s Choice award went to “The Locks and Keys,” for a performance cover of “I will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor with impressions layered in.
From Donald Trump to Kermit the Frog, “The Locks and Keys” had the crowd sore from laughter. “Locks and Keys” featured sophomore Kyle Sogge majoring in illustration and junior Kristoffer Bjarke majoring in music.
For Sogge, it was an exhilarating experience.
“It was a bit overwhelming, but once I got into it, I didn’t feel nervous at all,” Sogge said. “And afterwards what mattered then was that it felt really good.”
Sogge is very keen to what it means to perform comedy.
“It’s about the entertainment, which is why I do comedy,” he said. “It’s one thing to be really good at something, and it’s another to bring people together, which is what comedy does. It unites people.”
Probably one of the most unexpected collaborations came from “Concinnity.” A brave trio of first-year students gave the audience their take on the contemporary world.
First-year Audrey Cosgrove, first-year Anga Enkh-Amgalan and first-year CJ Paine performed covers of today’s music hits in an unusual way. Concinnity preformed “Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake and “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons using the acoustic guitar, electric and drums to change it up from the originals.
As the evening winded down, senior Caleb Gustin shared a story.
Performing a spoken word piece titled “Mo(u)rning,” Gustin reflected on pressing topics in the world of politics.
“A policy affects human beings, and whenever a policy is changed, a human being is affected.”
Gustin spoke to audience members expressing what it is like to be a minority in a fast changing world. The refugee/immigrant community as well as the LBGTQ community were all featured in his work spoken word.
Gustin rattled the audience with compelling words and difficult truth.
“I woke up this morning. Alive. Queer. And White,” Gustin said. “Some didn’t wake up at all. For them, I mourn.”
STUB’s talent show brought out students from various backgrounds and campus groups and realized their goal of presenting a diverse range of acts and voices in an enjoyable and meaningful manner.