Got Talent?


Tina Nguyen, Staff Writer

From dancing and singing to stand-up comedy, all types of entertainment could be seen at Chantilly’s Got Talent. The event was sponsored by drama and peer helping teacher Shannon Khatcheressian’s peer helping class and was hosted by drama teacher Ed Monk.


“We have so many talented students here at school, and it is important that we celebrate them,” Khatcheressian said. “The kid sitting next to you in biology could be an incredible singer and you never even knew it until you attend a show like this.”


The show offered a unique opportunity for students and faculty members to showcase their talents, and it also raised money for local charities. All proceeds were donated to charities of the performers’ choice.


“I selected a charity called ‘Food for Others,’” senior Jason Saitta said. “It’s a Fairfax County charity and what it does is give food to people whether they’re homeless or just can’t afford to buy food.”


The auditions were held in front of Khatcheressian and six peer helping students in early November.


“I [picked] the final acts for the show,” Khatcheressian said. “I thought it was important for the peer helping students to be there as part of the process and to see what it takes to create a performance piece from the first step to the last.”


Unlike televised talent competitions such as “America’s Got Talent,” the focus of Chantilly’s Got Talent was showcasing talent and raising money for charity rather than on competition.


“We collectively decided as a class that we want it to be a celebration of the talent here at the school and to take the competitive piece out,” Khatcheressian said. “We also want the focus to be on the fun part of raising funds to purchase goods for local charities.”


The first Chantilly’s Got Talent was held three years ago, and the event raised over $3,000 to purchase and send items to Helping Children Worldwide, a foundation that helps the children of Sierra Leone. Not only did many students participate, some faculty members performed as well.


“I [was] very excited that they invited me [to perform at the show],” social studies department chair John Downes said. “There’s a lot of talent in our faculty. I’m excited that our faculty and students would be able to display that showcase because it really does a lot for relationship building.”


The crowd went wild when Downes and his 11-year-old daughter, Julia, performed a medley from the musical “Les Miserables.”


There was a $1.00 raffle with prizes like coupons from local businesses. The funds from the raffle went to the peer helping class in order to fund more events for the school and community.

In total, the show raised $1,045 for local charities. It ended with sophomore Tora Crank having raised the most at $186 for Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation with her hip-hop dance solo.