Benicia High Takes The Stage By Storm

By Trina Bernal, and Justin Makela-Guerrero


Gabby Campitelli uses loopers to give an authentic performance.

Credit: Xavieria Terry

      On the evenings of January 26 and 27th, the Benicia High School Performing Arts Building was filled with excited families and friends anticipating the talented students to take the stage by storm. The talent show allows a perfect local outlet for the talented student performers of our school. These BHS student acts consisted of full bands, solo acts and magicians, to name a few.

     Before the show even started, hosts Kian Braulik (10) and Kevin McClarty (12) kept the audience entertained in between performances. As Kian was personally invited by seasoned host Kevin, he didn’t take the opportunity for granted. Kian loved the excitement the audience had for both days, and thought hosting was a “fantastic experience getting to announce and meet all the great acts we had.

     These great acts Kian mentioned were split into two amazing acts.

     With First Act including the following talented brave:

    Cabinet— Lead singer Anders Knutstad (12) played electric guitar, Ellie Bettencourt (11) sang, Patrick Foley (12) played conch and trumpet, Carson Rendell (12) switched back and forth between acoustic and electric guitars, Evan Jennings (12) was on keyboard and laptop, Max Agas (BHS alum) provided bass with bass guitar, and Atom Ruiz (11) played the drums.
    Maddy & Benny— Cia Roybal (12) and Maddy Marceau (11) sang and played guitar to “Un Poco Loco” from the animation Coco, which the two Disney characters Miguel and Héctor performed.
    Mashup— Teija Bresler (11) followed with her own mashup take of “Location” by Khalid, and “We Don’t Talk Anymore” by Charlie Puth.
    Quartet named Toxique— Next featuring all juniors (11), Gabby Campitelli, Dahlia Elgonemy, Ameera Elgonemy, and LaPaula Parker harmonized and sang “Toxic” by Britney Spears.
    Daniel Caesar mashup–Reshma Vydyarakath (11), sang and played piano to her own mixed rendition of Caesar’s most famous slow beats “Blessed” and “Best Part”.
    “Stay”— Gabby Jones (9) sang a solo of Sara Bareilles song.
    “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree”— Gabby Campitelli (11), sang KT Tunstall’s 2004 classic, using loop pedals which assisted in the song’s beat creation.
    Intermission— During these Fifteen minutes the audience can talk amongst themselves, or head to concessions, which this year was served by IGEF (Intersectional Gender Equity Feminism) Club members, Rayna Fitzgerald (12), Sietina Zurga (12), and Caitlyn Clark (12).

     After the intermission, these amazing people took the stage for the outstanding Second Act:

     Gloving– Hector Cordero (12) reenergized the crowd with upbeat tunes, doing unique glove motions that wowed the crowd.
    “Hallelujah”— Skyelar Clouse (11) and Jessica Scott (11) covered Leonard Cohen’s famous song to the guitar acoustic of Garrett Miniyardi (9).
    “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” by Tori Kelly— Kirsten Lambinicio (11) sang and danced.
    “Quantum Teleportation”— Kyle Kringle (11) and Vivian Kringle (10) showed off their magic skills by manipulating a card to move from the table to inside the Pop Tart they took from a closed package.
    “Stay”— Jay de la Cruz (11) sang an original piece.

    Lumber Lads— And finally, trombonists Thomas Bergen (11) and Jason Velasco (12), Sousaphone player Johann Klapstein (11), trumpet players Derryl Sayo (11) Avel Mandap (10) and Nate del Rosario (10), saxophonist Noah Seguerre (11), and drummer Elijah Burkin (10) played “Get Out Da Way” by YoungBlood Brass Band.

     After everyone performed both Friday and Saturday, the judges picked the winners. In 1st Place were Kyle and Vivian Kringle with their magician act of Quantum Teleportation and Multiplication, 2nd Place the Quartet with their captivating voices singing “Toxic” by Britney Spears, and 3rd Place Gabby Campitelli who was in both the Quartet and the solo number “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” by KT Tunstall.

     Kyle who won 1st place alongside his sister Vivian Kringle had to say, “It felt good to win 1st but I feel that other people should have won,” and added “I want to thank David Blaine (a famous magician) for giving me nightmares as a child.”

     Gabby won 2nd and 3rd place and thought it was an honor, saying “There were so many talented acts I was rooting for, I’m humbled.” Not only were solos appreciated but groups were also recognized as well. Quartet member Ameera loved their group dynamic, also having “lots of fun working together on our song and I loved our final product.”

     Reshma a pianist-singer, expressed her favorite part was watching and listening to others who shared the stage with her. She noted, “It was really cool being able to sing behind stage and harmonize with other singers involved in the show and sharing our talents with one another.” Though high school students went on stage, they don’t forget to appreciate their talented companions. “I think the talent show is a really cool way for students to show off their gifts especially in such a small community,” Reshma describes.

     After curtains fell and all the acts performed, audience members tried to memorize their favorite talents, later sharing with classmates and friends.  Liliana Rohrer liked the opening act, Cabinet, the best, “I went on Friday, and I have to say that Ander’s band was amazing. They are so talented individually and together it was phenomenal”.

     Of course let’s not forget the people behind the scenes: the leadership class, the show coordinators Melelani Moldero (12) and Lauren Calica (10). The technical director/stage manager/lights Brandon Nelson (10), the spotlights Mackenzie Hao, and Rebecca Dakin (11), the grips who moved things around in between acts Alex Torres (12), Ryanne Balmediano (10), Jaclyn Sansone (9), Christian Chaves (12), and Autumn Jarmel (12). BHS administration Roddie, Mr. O’Reilly, Mrs. Roquet, Mrs. Wheat, Mr. Calderon, Mrs. Sapp, Mr. Greenwood, Mrs. Wynn, Mr. Weiss, Mr. Day, and Mr. Starkweather. Without these people, this amazing talent show wouldn’t be possible. So thank you.



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