School shows of talent in annual competition

Oliver de Savigny - winner SUS-141003-151229001
Oliver de Savigny - winner SUS-141003-151229001
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On Friday 28th February Steyning Grammar School held the annual talent show ‘SGS has Talent’.

This is the 6th year that the show has been running and this year there is an exciting mixture of talent from across the school. There are 18 acts in the show with a range of performances from singing, guitar and piano accompaniments, dancing to Rap performances.

Steyning Grammar School International Baccalaureate (IB) students have been very involved in organising the show, auditioning the students, producing posters, programmes and tickets along with compering the evening. The students are very excited to see weeks of planning come to fruition.

Ella Jones an IB student and one of the show organisers said: “The standard of talent at this year’s auditions was really good, there are many talented people and it was really difficult because we wanted to have a mixture of students from across both sites of the school, so we took the best performances from each year. All the IB students took part judging the students in small groups.

“The show is raising money for eight children in Malawi, supporting their education. A target of £5000 is needed per year to cover this, so it is a really big part of the show and it feels really good to be able to help these children.”

The evening began with a lively Rap performance from Timi Tijani, and a rock instrumental by Luke Fuest, both year 11 students. Evie and Hayden Taylor teamed up to perform ’Ironic’ for the first time in the talent show with a vocal and guitar accompaniment. Julia and Katrina Browne both familiar with the ‘Open Mic’ circuit in Worthing and Lancing, performed on the piano and Ukulele and sang ‘Take on Me’.

The school staff band ‘The Zimmers’ have been part of the show since its inception with Geoff Buckwell, Steve Machin, David Berlinger, Dave Maguire, Elle Taylor and Mark Milne all performing. The Zimmers accompanied a group of year 7 singers ‘The Diva Fevers’ (Erin Durand, Siena Chipol and Josie Mitchell) performing ‘Rolling in the Deep’ and also accompanied Nsama Chibulu and Amanda Chan performing ‘Human’.

The whole evening was expertly brought together by the presenting skills of Megan Bridger, Chris Nixon, Suelae Robinson and Johanne Toth-Mouritzen, with some excellent background on each performer.

The judging panel made up of five teachers, the Headteacher Mr Nick Wergan, Miss Lindsey Thompson, Mr Mark Warwick, Mr Knowles and Miss Danielle Cook gave feedback to the students after each performance and at the end of the show it was down to the public to vote for this year’s winner.

Whilst the votes were being counted the public were treated to a performance by last year’s winner Feyi Bello singing ‘Ordinary People’, and she absolutely brought the house down.

This year’s superb and deserving winner was Oliver de Savigny, a year 12 student boarder at the school, who sang and played guitar, performing his own composition called ‘Butterflies’. Raymond Njoku came second with a rap ‘Soliloquy/King New World’ and ‘The Diva Fevers’ came third performing ‘Rolling in the Deep’.

Mrs Katie Browning one of the main show co-ordinators said: “The audience found it difficult to decide who to give their vote to as the standard was high. We would really love to beat the amount raised last year as it would be enough to pay the school fees for one term’s schooling for our eight Malawi children. For the last eight years I, along with my tutor group have been raising funds for these children, who without our financial help would be unable to go to school. We are proud to say that we have one young woman Sarai, who graduated last year and who has a good job, a second has just started university, two are in secondary school and the younger ones are still attending Golden Gate Memorial School in Lilongwe.

“As a direct result of our help they now live in a brick house (not mud), have electricity, all be it intermittent and at last running water. They love going to school and are so grateful for our help”

During the course of the evening £990 was raised for the Malawi children and £233 was also raised for The House of Dreams, a small orphanage in Bolivia and the Chestnut Tree House Hospice, the only children’s hospice in Sussex that cares for children and young adults from 0-19 years of age with progressive life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses.

Report and pictures contributed by Steyning Grammar School.