Imagine it’s the winter of 1950. Cold winds blow through Philly, snow covers the grounds, the hill to Olney is sleek with ice, and students everywhere are brimming with holiday spirit. Then, one unfortunate day, a fire breaks out at Widener Memorial School. The students and faculty, however, do not let this disaster dampen their spirits. They come to Central to continue their classes and a long lasting bond forms between the two schools. Ever since, it has been a tradition for Widener and Central to come together and and perform a talent show.
In preparation for the show, Mr. Burns held auditions for students interested in performing. Anybody can participate and share their talent, as long as they display dedication and are not on academic probation. Acts must be appropriate and cannot be any longer than five minutes. The show featured a variety of performances ranging from dance numbers to piano or guitar segments to song covers and originals. Mr. Burns emphasized that this event is a gift from the participants to Widener. The purpose of performing is not for yourself but for others. Emily Eiler (277) says “It was exciting to see the two schools work together for an event that put a smile on everyone’s face.”
One of Mr. Burns’ responsibilities is to arrange the line-up of performances. He takes into consideration the movement of props and attempts to spread out similar acts. The show began with an opening act by Central’s very own Pep Squad. The squad coordinated with Widener and performed alongside their mascot. The event was hosted by Central’s senior class president, Christopher Carson, and vice president, Maddy Strohm. Finally, the closing act was performed by two Widener students, one of whom already created a reputation for herself from her amazing performance last year and her memorable bow. The two Widener students closed the show by singing one song each and a duet together.
Also behind the scenes, working with the Student Association, Ms. Schromsky, coordinates with teachers at Widener about the event. They discuss how many students are coming over and other technicalities. The Student Association, also selects certain students to be “Widener buddies.” These students pair up with a student from Widener and are responsible for showing them around and making them feel welcomed. Ms. Schromsky says that this is “one of the most special days of the year, where I think our kids leave at the end of the day thinking ‘oh my goodness, that was amazing.’ It is a humbling experience, that leaves you feeling very blessed and fortunate for the gifts that you’ve been given. And hopefully it makes you a little bit more compassionate to others and realize that you can’t judge a book by its cover.”
Tuesday, December 19th, was a day for us to come come together as a community and and show support for others. It was a great way to raise our holiday spirits and continue this wonderful tradition. Alisha Diprimeo (277) adds “I love the fact that Central continues the tradition of a talent show with the Widener students. Not only are the students truly talented, it challenges the stigma of ‘handicapped’ students not being able to accomplish tasks that most of us at Central take for granted. What I enjoyed most at the show was the atmosphere. Just being in the room filled with all of the 277th class and our friends of Widener, having a great time.”
Jenny Dong (277)