Fourteen acts showed off their skills in the first annual Andover High School Talent Tussle on Friday, Jan. 26, with all proceeds benefiting the junior class. It cost $10 to attend the event, which took place in the Collins Center from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

In conjunction with Ms. Bergey, who has run the talent show in the past, the Junior Board helped to organize the show.

Mrs. Hibino said that there were two main reasons for the change to the event: “With the new schedule [Ms. Bergey] was afraid of not having enough time during H block to squeeze in all the acts. At the same time, the Junior Board was looking for an event to have as a fundraiser, as we used to do with Mr. AHS, and it seemed like the perfect match to all work together.”

This was the first year that the talent show was held at night. In years prior, during fourth block, teachers had the option to bring their classes to watch as members of the AHS community took the stage. Another change added this year was the competitive aspect; judges were added and winners received Visa gift cards ranging from $25 to $100. In addition to the three top scorers determined by the judges, audience members were able to vote for a fan favorite by signing into their K12 accounts.

The three judges were AHS theatre arts director Mrs. Choquette, AHS English teacher Mr. Pellerin, and special guest Bill Fahey from Andover Youth Services. After each performance, the judges gave feedback to the performer.

“The judges were given ballots for each act that contained four categories,” Mrs. Hibino said. “The categories were stage presence, enthusiasm, uniqueness, and overall performance. The judges gave a rating from 1-5 in each category and we tallied these number to determine the winner.”

Students and faculty could choose to perform individually, in pairs, or in groups. The performances included singers, dancers, pianists, a violinist, and one contestant that performed a speech.  

In first place, senior Alex Goldberg won with his violin performance of “Paganini’s Caprice No. 24.” Sophomore Naomi Call took second place with her piano and singing solo of “Black Moss.” In third place was Mr. Bledsoe with an excerpt of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The fan favorite was sophomore Margaret Gould singing “When We Were Young” by Adele.

This was Gould’s second time performing in the talent show. Gould said she likes the addition of a competition. “This time, I was performing by myself,” she said, “and there was friendly competition, which made me super excited to see the results!

About the change to having the event at night, Gould said, “I enjoyed having the performance outside of school because it was open to parents and kids who didn’t go to Andover High, but having it during the day brought in a larger crowd.”

Having the talent show at night with a smaller crowd was beneficial to the performers, especially if they were very nervous about performing. “In general, it’s nerve-racking being in front of a crowd,” Gould said, “but the talent show is super laid-back and is less intimidating. The talent show is a lot of fun. You get to perform alongside people who share the same love of performing as you do! It’s such a supportive environment.”

According to Mrs. Hibino, the event raised about $1000 and 150 people attended. The money will be used to offset some of the cost of the junior prom.

By Alexandra Scott