[singlepic id=1632 w=320 h=240 float=right]Shannon Flynn
This year’s Saturday Night Jive talent show first prize goes to the Dynamic Duo.
The duo consists of Keene State College sophomores Josh Brennan and Adam Rhan, who are both music majors at Keene State College.
“I’m pumped,” Brennan said after winning the $300 first-place prize. Brennan said he is going to spend his share on “new mallets and more music.” Rhan, on the other hand, assured his money would be put towards “books and academics.”
The Dynamic Duo’s talent performance consisted of two musical performances incorporating a marimba, a vibraphone and drums. Brennan played the marimba for both pieces whereas Rhan switched from vibraphone to drums. The first piece performed was called “Vertical River,” and the second piece was the boys’ version of “Carol the Bells.” Midway through the second performance, the lights went down and black lights shone onto the stage making their shirts, sweatbands and mallets glow in the dark. At this moment the crowd roared.
Brennan said he has played the marimba for five to six years. Rhan said he has been playing the drums for seven years. “We know how to do like everything,” Brennan said. “We’re all-around percussionists,” Rhan said. Brennan and Rhan attended Londonderry High School in Londonderry, N.H. together. “We’ve known each other for a while,” Rhan said.
Last year Brennan performed his marimba act solo but did not place. This year he decided to perform with Rhan, seeing as they have performed together many times, in hope of placing. “I was a beast at marimba, he was a beast at drum set,” Brennan said.
The Dynamic Duo does have plans to participate in the Saturday Night Jive talent show next year. They are planning on doing a “Pirates of the Caribbean” medley. “We’ll be back,” Rhan said.
Coming in second place was KSC senior Max Moran. Moran won the $200 second place prize by performing his own type of “popping” style dance. After transferring to KSC his junior year, Moran decided to participate in Saturday Night Jive because it would be a good way to “branch out.”
Dancing since he was 17, Moran referred to himself as a “late bloomer.” Moran said he has never taken a formal dance class and learned his skills out in California. “I went out there to meet a crew for America’s Best Dance Crew and they taught me how to do it,” Moran said. Before mastering the art of “popping,” Moran said he only used to dance similar to Michael Jackson. Moran also said he travels for dance. “I’ve traveled a lot for it,” Moran said. However, Moran is not a dance major. Instead, Moran majored in communications with a minor in film studies. With his winnings, Moran is definitely putting it towards books. “Honestly that’s why I did it,” Moran said.
The third place winner was KSC freshman Anna Glassman. Glassman was the only performer to place by singing. The first song she performed was “Cowboy Casanova” by Carrie Underwood. Glassman’s second performance was her rendition of “Believe” by Josh Groban. Glassman said she has been singing her whole life, but started taking lessons when she was in the eighth grade.
“I take music lessons here and every time I go home I see my old music teacher,” Glassman said. With her $100 winnings, Glassman said she is planning on putting it in her savings. Glassman is a member of the KSC softball team and had a majority of the team was present to support her.
“I just had a lot of fun performing. If I didn’t place I wouldn’t have cared because it was just really fun being on stage in front of everyone and placing was an extra bonus,” Glassman said.
Saturday Night Jive is put on every year at the end of the semester by the Student Activities Council (SAC). This year KSC sophomore Ryan Mahan was the man in charge. Mahan is the events coordinator for SAC this year. Mahan said they had approximately 30 acts try out for Saturday Night Jive, however there was only room for eight acts.
”It was a tough decision,” Mahan said. According to Mahan, he acted as a mediator when it came to the decision making process. Mahan said he set up the three-day audition process and created the scoring rubric, but left the actual judging to his committee.
Ultimately, the events committee for SAC chose eight acts, most of which were musical acts. Mahan said the “goal” was to have more of a variety among the acts. “If Keene’s talent is music and it’s what people are good at here who am I to say we aren’t going to have that [in the show],” Mahan said. “These eight people deserved to be in the show.”
This year, the event included some changes; SAC hired comedian Marc Lammotte to be the emcee for the event. Lammotte is a comedian from Georgia who is a college advisor. He knew how to relate and exactly what to say to the audience of college students to make them laugh. The most significant change to the event was the way of determining the winner. In previous years there were always guest judges who ultimately made the decision. These guest judges ranged from professors to Gordi from the dining commons. Mahan said he was “inspired” to make the change this year.
Mahan decided to incorporate the audience this year and made them the final judges. Like many television competition shows, the audience cast their vote by texting a number for the act they believed should win. This way the audience had more of a say, and it brought out a different audience. Mahan said this allowed for a larger audience, because the acts were inviting everyone they know for support. This strategy seemed to work seeing as the Mabel Brown Room was filled with students, friends and family of the acts. In the end, the voting came down to a very close call. “It was a very small percentage,” Mahan said.
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