By Kai Vieira da Rosa
Five Whatcom students will be competing for the title of Grand Winner of WCC Got Talent 2017 on Friday, May 5.
Jennifer Contreras, Christian Shirey, Adey Yang, Vanessa Pescasio, and Xiaoyi Zhang will be showcasing their talents for the first annual school talent show in the Heiner Center.
The winner will get to go home with a prize worth $500.
Elisa Bong, member of the Programming and Diversity Board, organized the event.
“Our school only recognizes academic success of the students,” Bong said. “I want to give appreciation to those students who have talent in other areas other than academics.”
Jennifer Contreras, will be playing the guitar and singing in her performance.
Contreras said she is participating in the show due to her love for singing and for the bliss of creating music.
“This show will be a unique and safe place for students to truly express themselves,” Contreras said.
Contreras said she has been singing for as long as she can remember and has been playing guitar for seven years.
“I’m new to Bellingham,” Contreras said. “I thought, what better way to reach out to fellow musicians in the city than performing with them?”
Christian Shirey said he stumbled upon his singing talent while hanging out with his friends.
“My buddies and I were sitting around listening to music, and I just started singing along,” Shirey said.
Shirey has been practicing his singing by doing karaoke of older classics from Metallica and Bon Jovi.
As for the show, he said he is considering performing “Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi.
Adey Yang will be singing and playing the guitar for his act.
Yang was encouraged to perform by his friends, so he said he decided to give it a try.
He has been playing guitar for two years, and has even come up with his own original work, although he says he isn’t sure he will play one.
Yang said that original works are a great expression of personality, so as for now, he says he isn’t certain.
“My music is not perfect, so if I want to win, I may play something people know,” Yang said.
Yang is no newcomer to live performances, he has performed live back in his hometown in China.
“The guitar is from the West, we Chinese have our own instruments, but I want to show that Chinese people like myself can play the guitar,” Yang said.
Vanessa Pescasio said she will sing a cover of Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain.”
Pescasio has been singing and playing the piano and guitar for as long as she can remember.
“This is not my first live performance,” Pescasio said. “The first talent show I was in was in elementary school and I’ve been doing every talent show at every school I’ve been to so far.”
There are many people who worked on this event and Pescasio is very excited to be a part of it.
“WCC Got Talent shows how awesome Student Life is for setting something up like this. I’ve never seen an event like this at a community college so props to them,” Pescasio said.
Xiaoyi Zhang said her biggest dream since she was a kid has been to be a singer.
From a young age, Zhang started practicing at home to perfect her voice.
She will sing a song called “Dream it Impossible,” which she said she has been practicing for a couple weeks. She said she may be new to the song, but Zhang is not new to competition.
“This is not my first time doing performance singing,” Zhang said. “I had joined a singing contest in my high school, and I won the championship which encouraged me a lot.”
Win or lose Zhang says she will be just happy to see that Whatcom is encouraging performing arts at school.
“This show let me know a lot of awesome people in our college, and it enriched my life,” Zhang said.
In making this competition, Bong said she wants to make sure this event connects the students with fellow classmates on campus.