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Wayne Post
  • Student show off their talents

  • It was a proud moment for 8-year-old Ethan Barbera as he took a bow and heard the audience applauding his performance at the “Kelley School’s Got Talent” show March 23.

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  • It was a proud moment for 8-year-old Ethan Barbera as he took a bow and heard the audience applauding his performance at the “Kelley School’s Got Talent” show March 23.
    Ethan performed Justin Beiber’s “Pray” for the talent show.
    “I really like that song,” he said. “It means a lot to me.”
    The talent show brought parents, siblings, extended family members and friends to watch students sing, dance, play instruments, do gymnastics and much, much more. In only his second year at singing, Ethan said he was a little nervous standing on stage in front of a packed auditorium, but he’d do it again in a heartbeat.
    “I thought it was pretty cool,” Ethan said. “I thought I did real good.”
    Ethan and his sister, Cora, 10, perform at their church, Lighthouse Baptist Church in Newark, often and sometimes Cora gets a solo. A fifth grader, Cora is an old hand at performing in front of an audience after taking part in last year’s talent show at Kelley School. This year she not only performed a dance routine with friends to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, but she also performed “Someone to Watch Over Me” by Hilary Duff with her sister, 12-year-old Mercedes. The song holds a special meaning for Cora, who dedicated the song to her older sister, Brenna.
    “The song is about being yourself and that’s what she encourages us to do,” Cora said of 18-year-old Brenna.
    Cora has been singing since she was 8 years old and hopes to pursue a music career in her future. Kelley School’s talent is a perfect setting for Cora and students like her who want to pursue a career in music, but also a great experience for all those who participate.
    Kelley School PTA vice president Stephanie Liechti and Nicole Robbins, a PTA member, organized the show. Interested students signed up, submitted music and performed at a rehearsal where Liechti and Robbins gave them pointers as needed. A second rehearsal was held for students’ acts that needed a little tweaking.
    Because there were 42 solo performer and group acts and one show would be quite long, Liechti and Robbins divided it into two parts with a 15-minute intermission. Liechti said it was a hit.
    “Parents love watching their kids perform,” she said. “It’s a blast and the kids love it.”
    A lot of work went into the making of the talent show as well. PTA member Karen Hughes helped out by purchasing water and cookies that were given out during intermission with help from Newark High School Participation In Government students. Theresa DeWolf handled music for the show with help on the sound system from Kelley School instrumental music teacher Cindy Briggs, who also handled staging for the various acts. NHS junior Ryan Tracy, who recently played the Man in Chair in “The Drowsy Chaperone” capably emceed the talent show, injecting humor and levity throughout. Kelley School fourth grader Rachel George designed the front cover of the program and fifth grader Ben Cepulo designed the back cover and Kelley School student government members ushered at the show.
    Page 2 of 2 - In the Barbera home, there was a lot of preparation as well and stepmom, Katie Barbera, was proud of both Ethan and Cora.
    “They did great,” she said. “They’re really talented and to perform in front of that many people makes it even better. I’m really proud of them.”

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