Children’s Summer Talent Show:
Event celebrates the end of the summer reading program
By Mike Lauterborn
(for Fairfield Citizen News)
Fairfield, CT – They danced, tumbled and hula hooped. Tickled the ivories, sang and drummed. While it was all great fun, their performances marked a great achievement at the same time.
Mid-afternoon Friday, the Fairfield Public Library’s main facility, 1080 Old Post Road, hosted the 7th annual Children’s Summer Talent Show. The performance featured kids ages two to nine, who were invited to provide an entertainment contained to three minutes. A rehearsal for the 10 “acts” that signed up was held an hour beforehand and refreshments were served afterwards. Children’s parents and caretakers comprised the audience. They sat in molded chairs in the library’s Rotary Room, where the show was conducted, and cheered, clapped, photographed and videotaped the fun.
The event’s coordinator, Cindy Barich, who serves as the Children’s Librarian and is known more commonly as “Cindy B”, said the show is intended for ages 6 to 12, but really accommodates “anybody willing to perform.”
Barich said the aim of the event is to give “self-confidence to the children in a comfortable and supportive atmosphere.” At the same time, the fun marks the end of the summer reading program, which began June 1 and engaged almost 2,000 participants. Children received prizes for their reading accomplishments.
To start the show, Barich read a poem, titled “Matinee Manners”, to the children, which creatively spelled out the decorum audience members should observe in a theatrical environment. One line advised, “Keep your hands in your lap, but if you like something, clap.” It was a gentle reminder, to siblings in particular, to give performers the courtesy of attention and respect.
Then participating performers launched right into their numbers, each emerging from behind a curtain affixed across a doorway and taking their place atop a low-rise stage platform. Acts ranged from simple tumbling to complex piano etudes performed on an electric organ.
Tumblers Blane and Devin McElroy, along with little Olivia Music, got things rolling, followed by a splashy dance rendition – complete with dark sunglasses – by Isha Kumar, 5, and Maya Sikka, 6, of Jason Dierulo’s “I Don’t Wanna Go Home.”
Eight-year-old Olivia Geckeler showed off her hula hooping and cartwheel skills, which led into seven-year-old Joanne Park’s stunning renditions of piano pieces by Giuseppe Verdi and Johan Strauss.
Even more amazing was Joanne’s eight-year-old sister Janise, playing Friedrich Kuhlau’s Sonatine movement Opus 20, No. 1. The sisters, who are home schooled for piano, wore matching pink dresses.
Looking like an angel and singing “My Favorite Things” from the “Sound of Music” musical was six-year-old Juliette Savarino, who would have made Julie Andrews proud.
Offering a more modern flavor, nine-year-old Sophia Tedesco, wearing flashy high-top sneakers, belted out a version of Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb.”
Rounding out the pack, seven-year-old Maggie Willer plinked out “Old MacDonald Had a Song”, eight-year-old Brigid Halliday played “Yankee Doodle” and five-year-old Aidan Music drummed a beat while the audience accompanied him, singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”
As the performers took a collective bow and rushed the snack table, Cindy B’s own grandchildren leapt to the stage and began dancing about, signaling that the Children’s Summer Talent Show tradition would be sure to continue.