Boone County's Got Talent 2 - 1
By Kathryn Menue
BELVIDERE – On Saturday, March 12, the Belvidere Rotary Club hosted Boone County’s Got Talent to raise money for Northlands Association of Special Recreation (NASR) New Horizons Adult Day Program and various Rotary projects.
People crowded into the Community Building as the Belvidere High School (BHS) Jazz Band welcomed guests, as the BHS student council members sold concession items, and as the BHS dance team sold raffle tickets.
At 7 p.m., the Master of Ceremonies, Mike Garrigan, welcomed the Boone County community to Boone County’s Got Talent. WIFR’s Garrigan was kind enough to donate his time to support the arts for Saturday’s event.
The night’s performances were split into two acts with Addison Gunn kicking off Act I with her rendition of One Direction’s “Little Things.”
Performing next was the youngest singer of the night, Chloe Konieczki, who performed “When I Grow Up” from the stage show, Matilda.
Emily Dahl took the stage next singing the traditional Irish song, “Oh, Danny Boy.”
Another singer, Ellen Rukin, stepped up to the microphone to perform the gospel song, “How Great Thou Art.” Not being able to find a track to accompany her, she recorded her own, creating a duet opportunity with herself for Boone County’s Got Talent.
In the fifth slot of the evening, Serenity Brockmann dedicated a song to her great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother for all of the hard times they’ve been through. Brockmann sang acapella “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again,” by Danny Gokey.
While the audience waited for the next act to grace the stage, Garrigan demonstrated his talent of juggling.
The night moved away from musical performances when the next performer took the stage. Little Shance Brockmann came out and performed a mock-debate as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Boone County's Got Talent - 2“Hi, I’m Donald Trump, the only choice for the next President of Amewica,” Brockmann said, which set the crowd in a fit of laughter.
The night transitioned back to the musicians with Anna Pearce on the guitar performing “Hallelujah.”
Next, Pierce’s father Paul performed his wedding song “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton. Ceremonies Master Garrigan shared that Clapton’s song was also his and his wife’s wedding song.
Anna and Paul Pearce did a duet with “I’ll Never Find Another You.”
Lorraine Kiefer was the last performer of Act I playing a piano medley including a polka number, “Moon River,” and “God Bless America.”
Kiefer also provided some comedy by bringing her cell phone out halfway through her act and telling the audience she needed to take the call. Her mysterious caller requested a song for her to play and she went on her merry way to perform the request.
The most extraordinary part about Kiefer’s act was that she had performed on that very stage in high school exactly 65 years ago on March 12.
After a brief intermission, choir students from Belvidere High School performed pieces from musicals with BHS Choir Director Karen Cantele accompanying them on the piano.
Emma Knapp was supposed to perform, but fell ill, so classmate Krista performed “Happily Ever After” from Once Upon A Mattress.
Katie Ernest performed a song from Beauty and the Beast, as she was Belle in the BHS production of Beauty and the Beast which ran from Thursday, March 17 through Saturday, March 19.
The next performer, also a singer, was Will Luccio who performed an acapella version of “Rise Up” by Andra Day.
Host Garrigan added some comedy after Luccio’s performance.
“Note to self. Don’t follow Will Luccio in karaoke. You will look like a fool,” Garrigan said.
The only dance act of the evening proceeded next with Elenita Romero dancing to Katy Perry’s “Birthday.”
Comedian Glen Miller of New Horizon’s performed next by sharing riddles and jokes, which the audience loved.
Another break came in the program to pick the raffle ticket winners from the contest. Winners received either a gift basket from Manley Motors, stadium seats, Timber Pointe Golf Club golf packages, Anytime Fitness membership, or the grand prize of $387. The winner of the grand prize donated $200 back to the NASR program.
Dr. Samantha Raczkowski performed next and dedicated her song to all of the veterans who’ve served this country.
Melissa Schwartz sang Taylor Swift’s “Safe and Sound” with her father Frank accompanying her on the guitar.
Brent Skrowronek performed an LED hula-hoop show to the techno-remix of the Grease soundtrack.
Dan Holmes (who coordinated the talent auditions and line-up) performed with Dave Walters. They gave a preview of their Simon and Garfunkel show that will be at the Community Building on April 9.
Last to perform were the individuals from New Horizon Day Group. They danced an old-fashioned hoedown.
They received the only standing ovation to end the night.

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