Updated: New Students, New Name

Pianist Josiah Kenniv and vocalist Brittany Mitchell won the crowd with a moving duet of a Witney Houston song in Cedarville’s 2014 New Student Talent Show: Photo by Kari Barnhill

Cedarville University’s annual talent show for freshmen and transfer students has changed its name. After nine years as the “New Student Talent Show,” the show takes on a new name – the “New Student Variety Show.”

The who

Jill Willert, the SGA events director,  is the one behind the name change. But despite the change in name, the goal of the show stays the same: to give new students a chance to show off their God-given talents.

Willert has been involved with the talent show for two years. She served on the committee last year, but this year Willert has a team under her to help coordinate the event. For Willert, to change the name of the event, she had to clear it with Student Life Programs (SLP).

The how

Director of SLP Brian Burns and assistant director Daniel MacDougall helped bring about the name change.

Willert first had to speak with her advisor, MacDougall. She was required to create what SLP calls the “three P’s”: the purpose, the plan and the procedure for the name change. The “three P’s” then had to be approved by MacDougall and passed onto Burns for further review.

The why

Willert said she is looking to change the perspective of the talent show. By calling it a variety show, she said she is hoping a broader selection of talents will be performed.

A sketch performed during the 2014 New Student Talent Show: Photo by Kari Barnhill

Willert said generally when people hear “talent show” they automatically think “musically-inclined.” But Willert said she would like to see a variety of talents this year though Cedarville is a musically-oriented campus.

The what

MacDougall mentioned a few spectacular acts that have been performed in previous years: flaming, spinning batons; impressions; pianists; and vocal and instrumental acts.

“There is a total of 950 new freshmen and transfer students at Cedarville University this year,” MacDougall said. “The broad number of students is why the New Student Variety Show is a big deal. With so many students, the types and levels of talents are limitless.”

Currently, new students and transfer students are the only eligible participants, but Willert said that there will be some other formatting changes.

In previous years the show was held in two different venues – Alford Auditorium and the Cedarville Opera House. The venue usually depends on the amount of people expected to attend, as the latter seats about 400 people.

For those students who want to watch and not participate in the show – or are not new students – there will be two performances Sept. 25. The venue is currently undecided. Whether you are looking for a study break or making your debut on stage, the variety show is an opportunity you don’t want to miss.

A previous version of this article stated the “New Student Variety Show” would take place on Sept. 18. The event date was changed to Sept. 25 with an extended audition period.

Alicia Wright is a freshman journalism major and reporter for Cedars. She has a  passion for French, and she loves coffee, learning, and chatting with friends and family.

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