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John Wooden

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The 65th Talent Hunt Demonstration

Howard University Cramton Auditorium - 12 outstanding artists took the stage, one at a time, to display their exemplary skills in the areas of vocal music, classical piano, contemporary piano, creative dance, and instrumental music.

First place winners from each district was awarded $1,000 by the Omega Life Foundation, a specially designed medallion, and a beautifully inscribed plaque recognizing this auspicious occasion.


Washington, DC
- The weather was scorching hot in Washington, D.C. during the Centennial Celebration of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. The only relief was indoors; except for on the stage in Cramton Auditorium on the campus of Howard University.  The climate was cool and comfortable until 12 outstanding artists took the stage, one at a time, to display their exemplary skills in the areas of vocal music, classical piano, contemporary piano, creative dance, and instrumental music.

It was Saturday, July 30, 2011, at 2:30 p.m.  The 65th Talent Hunt Demonstration began and was hosted by Bro. Ernest R. Goode, Jr., Vice Chairman of the International Talent Hunt Committee.  Bro. Goode eloquently introduced each of the contestants with synopsis of his/her accomplishments.  He also provided the audience of approximately 700 patrons with information about each of the composers whose music was being used by the artists.

From the start, “smoke” rose throughout the auditorium, as the “professional” artists performed to some of the most renowned artistic innovators.  The presentations began with a vocal selection written by contemporary gospel artist, Kurt Carr, followed by two classical piano pieces by Grieg and Chopin, to a rousing contemporary piano arrangement of Blessed Assurance, a familiar hymn of the Black church.  These performances were followed by a dramatic creative dance performance to Four Women, a song about four stereotypes of African American women, that was written in 1966 by the late Eunice Kathleen Waymon, better know by her stage name, Nina Simone.  Subsequently, there were classical instrumental performances, on the alto saxophone and the violin, by American composer, Paul Creston and Italian composer, Vittorio Monti, respectively.  Between the two instrumental performances was an upbeat “Broadway-type” dance solo to I Am What I Am by Linda Eders.  The last quarter of the demonstration included a classical vocal rendition by Eric Coates, a British composer; a contemporary vocal rendition of At Last, made famous by R& B great, Etta James; a vocal interpretation of the classic African American spiritual, Deep River, arranged by Henry Berleigh; and a fascinating  marimba performance of Girlfriend Medley, arranged by percussionist, Bob Becker.

At the end of the performances, the audience exploded with applause and gave the following performers a standing ovation.  Rajane Brown , Kalen Winfrey , Jesse Leong(guest artist), Hayden C. Jackson, Teqosha White, Steven Banks, Julissa Cuthbert(guest artist), Heaven Roberts, Martin L. Clark(guest artist), Zuri Wells, Anne Robert, and Jeremiah Simms.

2011 Talent Hunt Awardees

DistrictWinners
1 Rajane Brown
2 Kalen Winfrey
3 Brendon Elliott
4 Hayden C. Jackson
5 Tegosha White
6 Steven Banks
7 Shaquille Southwell
8 Heaven Roberts
9 Roderick C. Demmings
10 Zuri Wells
12 Anne Robert
13 Jeremiah Simms

The young artists, although distinct in style and presentation, gave unforgettable  performances and left the audience mesmerized! Our souls “burned” with joy and inspiration!  And, even though the “smoke” has settled in Cramton Auditorium, the “fire” generated by our gifted and talented young entertainers will always glow in our memory!

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