Pa Her, Contributor
To engage high school students with the Augsburg community and to excite them about higher education, Pan-Asian Student Services (PASS) hosted a college overnight visit for high school juniors and seniors last week on Nov. 15 and Nov. 16. A variety show was showcased as part of the college overnight experience. Led by the entertainment committee, the variety show functioned like a talent show that allowed the Augsburg community to showcase their talents.
Many talents were displayed at the show, including singing, dancing, rapping, spoken word and even bucket drumming. There was also a wide selection of music varying from K-pop to Thai music. The diversity in the talents and music embraced how art can bring everyone from different cultures together.
Led by masters of ceremonies Kallista Phommavongxay and Tho Vu, the night started with a Thai dance by a group called Aurora. From the outfits to the music, they showcased a unique and synchronized performance. Ruti Mejia then showcased percussion. It was refreshing to see her bucket drumming, since usually that would be the last thing people would see being performed.
Mongzong Xiong followed up Mejia with a cover of “Shot Down” by Khalid. Nan Vang performed “Down to Earth” by UMI. Silvia Cha performed Bea Miller’s hit “Never Gonna Like You” through her singing and guitar skills. Austin Chu-Yang-Heu shared a spoken word piece about experiencing hard times that resonated with the high schoolers. Chu-Yang-Heu also rapped and did a K-pop dance.
Chazong Lor exhibited his talents with an original piano piece called “Summer Rain.” Kristy Moua expressed herself on stage through her original spoken pieces “Perfect” and “My Body is a Cipher.” The way that she chose to express every written word, and how she performed it, was very touching. Then, Maly Vang showcased her voice, and Ben Miguel Domingo III ended the showcase with a cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.”
Following the showcase, Augsburg Asian Student Association (AASA) displayed a video that discussed the hardships of a student. The content spoke of how abusive and harmful words can be to an individual. A situation of abuse can affect a student’s performance in school. Thus, it was really important that this video shown.
Lastly, the Variety Show ended with some fun games. This was an opportunity to engage the high school juniors and seniors in the Augsburg space. There was Augsburg trivia that tested the juniors and seniors’ knowledge of the resources Augsburg offers. Additionally, the Song Association game was played, putting the juniors and seniors to the test.
As an audience member, it was hard to imagine that the majority of the performers were not even art majors. Even though it’s daring to perform in front of people, they did wonderfully well. Art is powerful in a way. It is a place for self-expression for anyone. Art has a way of bringing people of all ages and different backgrounds together to celebrate the expression within ourselves.