Concert, talent show display Craig student performances |

Concert, talent show display Craig student performances

Moffat County High School sophomore Paige Durbin strums and sings Kelly Clarkson's "Irvine" during the second annual Kennel Club Talent Show on Thursday evening at MCHS. The night featured performances from a number of students, as well as faculty member Lindsay Smith, and raised funds for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Andy Bockelman

— The past week saw the Moffat County High School auditorium packed with parents, community members and arts supporters in multiple events showcasing the abilities of students from across Craig.

The venue featured the Holiday Choir Concert on Tuesday evening and the school’s second annual Kennel Club talent show Thursday.

The concert was performed by singers in the MCHS and Craig Middle School choirs, the latter of which opened with the piece “Come and Sing.” Vocal Director Christina Wilcox said the song was prepared in less than a day, “not because we didn’t have time, but simply because they could.”

“They had the skills to do it,” she said. “Why not show them where their skills will take them — long term?”

The kids of CMS also sang “O Nata Lux” and “Alleluia.”

“It is rare to find a sixth- or seventh-grade group that can handle the demands three-part music places upon them,” Wilcox said. “However, these students have been dedicated, hung on through the skill-building process and came out winners on the other side. Our focus is cross-curricular music education and vocal music skill-building. Nothing is more rewarding than equipping young people with skills, showing them where those skills will take them and guiding them there.”

An interval by Bella Voce was followed by the singers of MCHS’s CenterStage group performing “Ave Maria,” “Jenny Rebecca” and the complicated “Tu Es Petrus,” which Wilcox referred to as “a multimeter selection with staggeringly difficult rhythmic sequences, complex harmonies and difficult diction.”

“It is the selection of which I am the most proud,” she said. “It is an accomplishment of great magnitude, even if it wasn’t the audience favorite.”

CenterStage closed the concert with “The Lord Bless and Keep You,” their final note signaling the completion of what Wilcox described as a year to remember.

“A year of change, a year of excellence, a year of positive focus on hard work and a year spent building toward a future with many kids in Colorado All-State, an student award-winning program and a place where any student who chooses to work hard and be kind can find a home,” she said.

Thursday night showcased a different range of skills. Yes, there was singing but also dancing, playing of musical instruments and a little bit of comedy.

The talent show, put on by the MCHS Student Council, featured performances from several pupils eager to take the stage.

Sophomores Bekah Bird and Wesley Atkin started things off with a duet — Pink’s “Just Give Me a Reason” featuring Nate Ruess — whereas sophomore Paige Durbin played acoustic guitar and sang to Kelly Clarkson’s “Irvine” and junior Kolton Nash, also the host for the evening, played “My Funny Valentine” on the saxophone.

Teacher Lindsay Smith also got in on the fun, performing a variety of impressions, from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Scooby-Doo.

Junior Estevan Zaragoza’s dubstep dance routine — complete with strobe light and fog machine — to a remix of Fall Out Boy’s “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)” electrified the crowd. His costume included black gym shorts over a blue bodysuit with a facemask.

“It’s skintight, so it made it easier to move,” he said.

Zaragoza won the competition — as judged by Moffat County School District Athletic Director Rick Schmitz and MCHS teachers Bettina Magas and Evan Gaffney — with Bird and Atkin taking third place.

Second place finisher Jacob Archuleta said his rendition of “For Good” from the musical “Wicked” — with piano accompaniment by Wilcox — stuck out for him because it’s the final time he’ll be on the MCHS stage, with his family moving to Rock Springs, Wyo., before the spring semester.

“I just want to say ‘thank you’ to all my friends for being for me all these years,” he said.

Gaffney, the Student Council adviser, said he was pleased with the turnout considering the short amount of time to prepare.

“We had a little bit more lead time last year, but just as many people showed up,” he said.

The show was the introduction of a new effort that will continue at MCHS with student council members accepting donations for the Make-a-Wish Foundation’s Kids for Wish Kids, collecting $60 to start their funding.

“Any time we have a school event, there’ll be a charity component to it,” Gaffney said. “It’s a good way of keeping the events free and still having a cause.”

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or

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