‘Talent in Lunenburg’

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The second annual Lunenburg’s Got Talent ushered a strong set of performers ranging from fourth grade to 12th grade.

Eight performers brought their best voices, charisma, dance moves and heart to the stage.

The event, sponsored by the Lunenburg Chamber of Commerce and Benchmark Community Bank, worked to support student talent and used the funds raised during the event to give back to area businesses and community organizations.

First place winners in the elementary, middle and high school categories received $500 prizes.

Junior Alexis Elam won first place for the high school category, Serenity Havens received first place for the middle school category and Claire Williams received first place for the elementary school category.

“That’s entertainment,”Event Organizer Pat Israel said during the event. “That’s why we come and invite your neighbors and your friends, tell them, ‘we have talent in Lunenburg for sure.’”

Her words rang true as the two dance performers and six singers owned the stage.

Fifth-grade Kenbridge Elementary School student and third place winner Juliana Bender performed a lively rendition of “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John, bringing an earnest and energetic performance that invited the audience to join along.

Fourth-grade Victoria Elementary School student Laney Loebs and second place winner was aptly described by Israel as a “firecracker,” bringing moves both impressive and daring, including a headstand and splits, with her rendition of a hip-hop dance inspired by Lil Wayne’s “Fireman.” Williams, a fifthgrade student at Kenbridge Elementary School, combined dance and pantomime, playing a budding celebrity with expressive dance moves to boot during her performance of “Rich and Famous,” also known as “My Simple Wish.”

Williams’ performance created a full show through just a folding chair, a song and her talent.

Havens was the only contestant in the middle school category, but her performance of “All of Me” by John Legend was memorable in and of itself as her clear voice brought depth to the lyrics about celebrating a loved one.

Elam performed an “a cappella” version of an original song, called “I’ll Never Be Alone.” Elam pulled the audience into a compelling story of someone who chooses to follow her own path and trust in God. Israel said her dream is to become a country Christian artist.

“It was nice,” Elam said after the performance, noting she participated in last year’s Lunenburg’s Got Talent. “I thought everybody did a great job.”

Second place winner Inka Winters performed an original song as well, called “Chaos at Best,” exploring the often fraught emotions that come through a tumultuous relationship.

Third place winner Dendra Johnson sang “I Look to You,” popularized by Whitney Houston, a song Israel said serves as a source of inspiration to Johnson.

Contestant Sequoia Winters, brother to Inka Winters, performed a cool guitar- voice combo of “Wisemen” by James Blunt, ending on just the right notes with a guitar solo.

The event judges were Brown’s Store District Supervisor Mike Hankins, Southside Area Community Theater (SACT) Group Secretary Nancy Allen, Benchmark Community Bank Vice President of Marketing Helen Person, Turning Point Healing Center representative JoAnne Stugart and musician Gary Taggart.

Chamber President Mel Payne offered the welcoming and closing addresses.