SMHS showcases student talent at show

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JAY – In a memorable and emotional evening, Spruce Mountain High School students awed their friends and family in attendance at the 2014 “Spruce Mountain Has Talent” show, organized by Jobs for Maine’s Graduates (JMG).

The Feb. 6 show, which was a JMG fundraiser, brought out a variety of emotions in the performers, from laughter to tears. It has become an annual tradition, and this year was unlike any other.

Alex Kennedy and Amber White elicited laughs from the audience with their rendition of “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better”, and earned third place from the judges. The laughter turned to tears later when White pointed out that her grandfather, Jay Police and Fire Chief Larry White, was suffering from stage three pancreatic cancer. He is getting chemotherapy and radiation treatments in Philadelphia.

White said that she was grateful for support from the Spruce Mountain High School students and staff and the community as a whole.

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“It means a lot,” she said. “I hope I got a lot of people’s attention, and I hope I can get people to donate.”

To help the White family with medical expenses, go to http://gofundme.com/helpchiefwhite.

Amber was able to overcome nerves to help deliver a performance with Kennedy that won’t soon be forgotten.

“I was so nervous, it was ridiculous,” she said. She added that she did rehearse beforehand, but an illness had limited the amount of time she was able to practice.

Chris Floyd and Caela Butler, the second place finishers, performed “I Won’t Let Go” by Rascal Flatts. Originally, said Floyd, he was going to perform by himself.

“Now, instead of playing guitar, I’m going to be playing piano, and she’s going to be singing,” he said.

Ian Jewett was the first place winner with his stellar performance of “Lullabye” by Billy Joel.

Other performers included Kyle Melcher and Floyd, who performed “Wipeout” by The Surfaris; Heath Greenwald, who did a surprise performance dedicated to his parents and late grandmother of “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison; Mel Drake and Kaitlynn Hall, who sang “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri; Nick Rollins, who performed a rap of “Black and Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa as Melcher played the drums; Rebecca Gagne, who sang “Hurt” by Christina Aguilera; Jillian Buote, who played piano and sang “Numb” by Linkin Park; Bailey Morrell, Caleb Beaudoin, and Zach Espeaignnette, who performed “Mr. Grinch”; Jaimee Floyd, who sang “God Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts; and Yeora Yoon, who sang “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston. Michael Chavez and Libby Adams, co-presidents of JMG at Spruce Mountain High School, served as emcees.

“I was impressed with the level of talent,” said Barbara Jewett, Jobs for Maine’s Graduates teacher.

The talent show is a yearly tradition for JMG, and it’s not because of the money that is made off of it either, Jewett pointed out.

“The kids do it because it fills a niche here at school- giving students a chance to shine who may not shine in other areas,” she said in a followup e-mail. “It is easy to recognize the sports teams, but it is just as important to give students who are passionate about performing a chance to display their talents as well. It is a great opportunity for my JMG students to organize and execute a large event that requires planning and forethought. I was there last evening, but it was my students who were running the show!”

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