Dowagiac Fine Arts Boosters hosts virtual talent show

DOWAGIAC — Talents were showcased this weekend on a virtual setting.

On Saturday, the Dowagiac Fine Arts Boosters hosted its third annual talent showcase created in memory of Carol Novak, who was the previous Dowagiac Fine Arts Boosters President and instrumental in founding the organization, booster organizers said.

“We wanted to reach out and lend them a helping hand,” said Allyson Hatter, the group’s treasurer. “We collected donations and gave them to the family. Needless to say, from there on out, we started doing it on a yearly basis. It helps show the kids that they can do stuff on stage other than just their sports and whatever else.”

The Dowagiac Fine Arts Boosters is a group created to help Dowagiac students who are involved with fine arts, including band, choir, art or drama.

When the group began planning its third annual talent show, they decided to open it up to more than just Dowagiac Union students.

“This year, it was a little different we decided to open it up to alumni and not just students of Dowagiac Schools,” Hatter said.

Instead of the talent show being hosted in the Dowagiac Middle School’s Performing Arts Center, this year, the group took submissions virtually and kicked off the talent show with a Facebook Live.

The first talent submission was from Jessica Schrader, a current student at Dowagiac Union High School who performed “Bound to You,” by Christina Aguilera.

Second up was Taylor Roberts, who performed a color guard solo and is a current student at Dowagiac Union High School.

Roberts is just one of many students who had her school year cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roberts was encouraged to volunteer for the show by Hatter.

“I love [Allyson] and to perform, and I wanted to support the community,” Roberts said. “I told her, ‘I would love to help her and the boosters.’”

Roberts, who has been involved in color guard for almost three years, missed having a reason to make up a color guard routine and twirl her flag.

“Working on it gave me a sense of happiness, especially knowing what I was doing it for,” Roberts said. “It was amazing to get outside for a few days rather than sit inside and do nothing.”

Lastly, Jessica Flagel, a recent graduate of Southwestern Michigan College performed a song from the Disney Movie, “Hercules.”

Overall, Roberts said she had a great experience performing again and offering something for the community to enjoy.

“It gave people something different to watch rather than something off of Netflix or Hulu,” Roberts said. “I just wish it would have gotten more people to participate because it deserved it.”

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