(WITH VIDEO) – Talent is presented in many forms. Students often hear about how talented the athletes at Murray State are, but rarely have the opportunity to acknowledge the students.
Murray’s Got Talent was formed by the residential college heads to showcase the many talents of Murray State students.
After competing and winning their own residential college’s talent show, five contestants representing Elizabeth, Hart, Richmond, White and Regents Residential Colleges, were eligible for Murray’s Got Talent which was held Wednesday in Wrather West Kentucky Museum Auditorium.
Lissa Graham, associate professor of humanities and fine arts, helped coordinate the event this year. Graham said the council of college heads held a similar event several years ago called Murray Idol.
This event dissolved after a few years and was not brought back until this year.
The difference between the adaptation of the prior event and Murray’s Got Talent, is the option for acts other than singing. Graham said each college’s talent shows featured acts of various talents but ironically every contestant who won their residential college was a singer and played guitar.
Prior to the event, Graham acknowledged the quality of the contestants participating.
“The kids have been great they are all very enthusiastic,” Graham said. “They are all very talented.”
The talent Graham was speaking of was displayed through five acts of musical numbers. Three judges Robert Valentine, Tana Field-Bartholomew and long-time residential college volunteer Russell Schneider had the challenging task of deciphering which talent would win the competition.
The performances began with Spencer Ray, representing Elizabeth College, who sang and performed a piece on guitar which he wrote for his grandmother called “Homecoming” one month before her passing. Following his act, Justin Carman, representing Hart College, sang a mashup of “Wagon Wheel” and “Don’t Stop Believing” for his talent.
The next contestant to perform was Jacob Petritsch, representing Richmond College. He sang a classic which can be heard on “Shrek” as performed by Rufus Wainwright, “Hallelujah.”
Representing White College, Kelsey McIlroy sang a quick-tempo song she wrote called “Barefoot Princess.” Rounding out the performances was the last contestant Tara Wolf, representing Regents College, sang a Johnny Cash classic, “Folsom Prison Blues.”
A pair of featured musical performances served as an intermission between the contestant’s performances and the announcement of the winners.
The contestants received prizes as well with each residential college awarding some prize to its winner.
Murray’s Got Talent’s overall winner, McIlroy, received a one hundred dollar gift certificate to The University Store and the runner-up, Spencer Ray, received fifty dollars to The University Store.
McIlroy said she has participated in a few things similar to this competition and some plays. She said she loves to write songs and had an inspiration for the song she performed in particular.
“I never found a song that I related to that described me,” McIlroy said. “I wrote that one my junior year of my high school.”
After a night filled with musical talents, Graham said she hopes the event will continue to occur on campus on a yearly basis.
“The college heads really want to have an event that we are known for like All Campus Sing and Campus Lights,” Graham said. “Hopefully this will become a yearly thing.”
Story by Tiffany Whitfill, Staff writer