Written by PA Intern Elizabeth Nam. 

On Friday, December 3, the Philharmonic Association hosted the PA’s Got Talent Fundraiser. This talent show allowed musicians of the Philharmonic Association to show off a variety of talents on several different instruments. Finalists and winners were chosen based on the amount of money they raised from the community.

The first finalist of live performances for younger musicians was Eleanor McIntire. She performed “Heart and Soul” by Hoagy Carmichael with her family, embodying Carmichael’s nostalgic song. The second finalist was Ayush Nair, a fifth grader, who played the first movement of “Concertino” in the style of W.A. Mozart and pulled off Mozart’s style.

The two high school finalists of live performances were Oliver Walters-Clift and the TYJE Jazz Combo. Oliver played highlights from “My Neighbor Totoro” and gracefully portrayed the movie’s highlights from the original soundtrack. The 5 members of the TYJE Jazz Combo played “Piedmont Standard” on the trombone, the saxophone, the bass, the drums, and the piano. Each member had their spotlight as they all had an individual part to shine, which showed the true beauty of jazz music.

A violin duo was also one of the finalists, Emma Zhang and Keira Gao, who played “Canon in D” by Johann Pachelbel and showed how wonderful duets can be.

The finalists of digital performances grades 9-12 were Elena Purcell and Jaeyee Jung. Elena Purcell performed “Birdland” by Josef Zawinul. She elegantly played all of the parts herself. Jaeyee Jung performed “Londonderry Air” by Jane Ross. Jaeyee Jung also played all three parts, which consisted of the violin and the piano. These two musicians exquisitely executed the wonderful pieces.

While we waited for any remaining votes, participants played a game of Kahoot, challenging everyone’s knowledge of the PA and a variety of musical trivia.

The two winners of the Committee’s Choice award were Caj S. and Tara Nambi. Caj S. won the award for grades 4 to 8 and played Op. 90 No. 4 by Schubert. Tara Nambi won the award for grades 9 to 12. She performed “Friendly Landscape” by Schumann. Tara Nambi was also the winner of the PA’s Door Prize Award. Both winners perfectly interpreted their piano pieces.

The winners of the 2021 PA’s Got Talent for younger musicians (grades 4 – 8) were Eleanor McIntire for live performances and Emma Zhang and Kiera Gao for digital-edited performances. For older musicians (grades 9 – 12), the winners were the TYJE Jazz Combo for live performances and Jaeyee Jung for digital-edited performances.

Special thanks to all of the incredibly talented musicians who submitted videos for our talent showcase, and to all who donated to our fundraiser. And congratulations to all of the winners!