Starfest showcases ERHS talent; top prize to Berglove, VanDeventer

Chandra Walbot placed second with her tribute to school friends. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Chandra Walbot placed second with her tribute to school friends. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


by Bruce Strand, Arts editor

Elk River High School holds an entertainment event called “Starfest” each year heading into the final week of school to let students get up on stage and have some fun competing for cash prizes.

A dozen acts performed Friday evening with a nice crowd of about 150, mostly students, at Zabee Theatre.

Jake Berglove and Tabetha VanDeventer were chosen as this year’s winners, among 12 entrants. They sang “Little Talk,” by Of Monsters of Men, each playing guitar. It was an easy-to-listen-to piece they nicely punctuated with the “hey, hey, hey!” refrain.

Jake Berglove

Jake Berglove

“We chose it because Tabetha really likes the song and it meshes well with her voice,” said Berglove.

Getting first was “incredible,” he said. “I didn’t think we’d win; there were a lot of talented people on stage.”

Sam Bunkers and Blake Noordman

Sam Bunkers and Blake Noordman

Chandra Walbot, who’s about to graduate, placed second with a tribute to friends who’ll be going their separate ways. She played piano while singing “For Good,” by Wicked, with lyrics such as, “Because I knew you, I have been changed for good,” while the jumbo screen show video and still photos from school days.

“I had some pictures and video of me and friends, and clips from things like pep tests and Starfest. Dylan Woolfolk (a friend) made the film,” said Walbot. It was touching performance that warmed the audience.

Placing third were a pair of choirboys turned madmen: Blake Noordman and Sam Bunker, who ranted like pro wrestlers in belting out “My Sacrifice” by Creed and managed to engage the audience in the fun. They called themselves “Creed’s Day Grace.”

Tabetha VanDeventer

Tabetha VanDeventer

“We never practiced or performed; it was just spur of the moment. We got the gig just yesterday,” said Nordman, adding, with a grin, “He and I are both in choir, and hopefully we sing better than that (in choir).”

The other acts were vocals by Malea Bertsch, Andrew Elmquist, Hannah Gandrud and Grayson Ziegler, Jasmine Hernandez, Mitch and Meghan Anderson, and Katie Soriano, along with a juggler, Andy Bronsheyn, and a dancer, Callie Larson, plus a rambunctious duo billed as NC da Realest and Boo Radley who sang something about a wolf and had a wolf chasing them around the stage.

MC's James Bounds and Brady Murphy

MC’s James Bounds and Brady Murphy

Judges were faculty members Brad Olson, Brian Steuter and Chris Sandusky.

Masters of ceremonies were Brady Murphy and James Bounds, both talented actors, who played up a humorous “Hunger Games” theme to the show which was dubbed “Starfest Games” this year.

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