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SGA talent show fuses flavors of College creativity

Johnny Arnold of The Jaegermeisters takes a leap. The rock band was one of three to perform at Saturday night’s show. (Tom O'Dell/Photo Assistant)

In a rare, large-scale collaboration, “TCNJ’s Got Talent” on Feb. 27 showcased 15 acts of some of the College’s best musicians, comedians, dancers and much more.

Co-hosts Christina Kopka, freshman business open options and Spanish double major, and Olaniyi Solebo, sophomore political science major, started off the Student Government Association (SGA)-organized show with a parody of Kanye West’s infamous MTV Music Awards gaffe.

Kopka sang most of the way through Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” before being interrupted by Solebo, mimicking West. He then proceeded to introduce the first act.

Solebo appeared in a different outfit every time he was onstage, paying humorous homage to Lady Gaga.

Sophomore mechanical engineering major Ian Bakst played “Fallen by the Wayside,” an original song about heartbreak. Accompanied by high school friends Sam Judkis on drums and Mike Morrongiello on bass, Ian Bakst’s guitar skills and soulful tune were reminiscent of John Mayer.

Comedian and junior business major Garrett Hoffman livened up the crowd with jokes about pornography and his luck with the ladies.

“If I had to compare my game to an actual game, it would be Boggle Jr.,” he joked. Also trying his hand at comedy was freshman biology major Frank Liu. Liu won the crowd over with his awkward delivery of encounters with the dean of the school of science and his first milkshake at the College.

The show included two individual tap dances from sophomore nursing major Jackie Caruso and junior accounting and Spanish double major Kathy Sikora. Caruso danced to “Hit Me Up” by Gia Farrell and Sikora danced to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” Senior communication studies majors Vinny Scafuto and Cat Cosentino showed off their musical theater skills in their performance of the duet “Come What May” from “Moulin Rouge!”

Signal Arts & Entertainment Editor and sophomore journalism major Matt Huston performed two original songs titled “Curtains” and “Barracuda.” Armed with only an acoustic guitar and plagued by a small microphone problem in the beginning, Huston serenaded the crowd with his singer-songwriter ballads.

Junior interactive multimedia major and slam poet Esteban Martinez intrigued the crowd with two slams about love and living life to the fullest. Martinez used his charisma and humor to deliver long fluid cadences describing the battlefield of love and the world of tomorrow to close the first act.

Guys with guitars aimed to capture the hearts of all the women in the audience. Freshman engineering major Alex Matteson sang an original song called “Waves,” closely resembling Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd.

Junior business major dedicated his combination of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Bob Marley’s “One Love” to his girlfriend.

The sophomore trio of history major Brian Gross, statistics major Andy Spedick and political science major Greg DiSipio entertained with “The First Single“ by The Format.

Also rocking out were bands The Magic Rats and Ali Jaeger and the Jaegermeisters.

TCNJ Musical Theater officers Vinny Scafuto and Cat Cosentino performed a duet. (Tom O'Dell/Photo Assistant)

The Magic Rats consisted of six freshman floor mates from floor six of Wolfe Hall. The Jaegermeisters included junior biology major Ali Jaeger on drums, Matteson and junior health and exercise science major Ben Johnson on guitar and freshman open options science major Johnny Arnold on bass. They made the crowd go wild with their covers of “Taper Jean Girl” by Kings of Leon and “Tick Tock” by Kesha.

The most exceptional act of the night was the sophomore juggling trio of math and secondary-education major Pat Catalano, sociology major Mark Kaplan and philosophy major Jesse de Agustin. They kept the crowd alive while juggling a multitude of light-changing balls and even a set of clubs to the sound of Muse’s “Knights of Cydonia”.

The College’s Taiko club closed the show. The drummers were sophomore math secondary education major Alissa Abad, freshman english major Mariko Curran, Martinez, sophomore music education major Mike Smith, senior computer science major Matthew Tom-Wolverton and freshman international economics major Russell Wolf.

The event, hosted by SGA, was the first talent show at the College in four years.

“I thought the show was a success … thanks to all of the phenomenal acts,” freshman international business major Dustin Paluch said.



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