BEMUS POINT - Area residents gathered at the Bemus Point Elementary School gymnasium on Friday evening for a display of youthful talent.
The show featured a Rooftop Party theme, and had stars and building tops as a background. More than 30 acts were featured during the show, which ranged from dance and vocal to piano, comedy and hula hooping. More than 40 elementary school students ranging from kindergarten through fifth grade were featured in the production. The production was made possible by faculty, the PTA and community volunteers.
According to Karen Hewes Suber, director, the thing she loves most about the talent show is that it gives the kids an opportunity to take center stage in a way that they can't during school concerts.
"It gives them a solo opportunity or a chance to come up with a small group to really shine," Suber said. "We have a full team of people, volunteers and parents who come to help the kids with choreography, coaching for lyrics, stage presence and other things that they might not normally do on their own - it definitely takes a village, and we're lucky to have such a healthy group of volunteers."
Not only is the event an opportunity for the kids to shine, but it's also a chance for parents to be full of pride, Suber continued.
"I think every parent has that feeling of overwhelming pride mixed with a little joy and funny moments - its lovely," Suber said.
Bemus Point Elementary School students are pictured on stage during the annual talent show.
P-J photo by Dusten Rader
Jack Bless, Nathan Cresanti, Alex Crist and Jonah Foley, Bemus Point Elementary School students, are pictured performing Ylvis’ “The Fox” during the annual talent show.
P-J photos by Dusten Rader
Ellie Haines, Courtney Martin and Hailie VanEvery, Bemus Point Elementary School students, are pictured performing Dixie Chicks’ “Let ‘Er Rip” during the annual talent show.
Judy Keefer, Bemus Point Elementary School teacher for more than 27 years, is pictured with her granddaughter, Grace Keefer, 7. Grace, who is from Cleveland, joined Keefer on stage during the Bemus Point Elementary School talent show to perform a piece on piano. The talent show itself was dedicated to Keefer, who is retiring this year.
Suber herself had two kids in the show, Aren and Sunnhi, and her son, Robert "Hawks" Suber, worked backstage.
"I really like it because it's a really nice way for everybody to show their talents to the school," Robert said. "It's something to be proud of, and something for the parents to be proud of this generation. It may seem like a small thing, but it can help everybody feel comfortable being themselves in life."
Jason Yohe, father of Ellery Yohe, attended the event with his wife, Carrie, to watch their daughter's choreographed dance to "Boogie Fever."
"It's great to see the kids get up and do their thing in front of everyone," Yohe said.
In addition to being a celebration of the hard work the students and community put into the production, the event also served as a tribute to Judy Keefer, a Bemus Point Elementary School teacher for more than 27 years. Keefer, who has been present at every talent show since its inception in 1990, is set to retire at the end of the school year.
"In the morning we stand by the doors as kids come in so children you had before will stop to give you a hug, and all of the sudden this morning I had a line of all these children wanting to give me a hug - it was very emotional," Keefer said. "It's an honor to have this event dedicated to me. The hard part is going to be leaving the children because they have such spontaneous, pure, sincere love and appreciation for you. It's the best job in the world because you get to work with that."
Before the show's intermission, every student involved in the production gathered on stage to perform Anna Kendrick's "Cups" as a tribute to Keefer. Emily Crandall and Ryann Hayes performed vocals and the cups for the piece. Keefer also performed on piano with her granddaughter, Grace, during the show. The performance was a throwback to the first appearance Keefer made in the talent show with her daughter.
"This event is so nice because the kids have a chance to express their artistic talents," Keefer said. "So many of the kids that are up there are children that I had. So, it's amazing to see them up there expressing themselves, even the very shy ones - children respond to music."