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est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

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Wildcats, Bobcats Share Spotlight at Brea’s Got Talent Competition

Jacob An
Simone Ligason-Tiquia, sophomore, performs Chopin’s “Fantaisie-Impromptu.” Ligason-Tiquia’s classical performance won her the “Best in Other” award at the 2023 Brea’s Got Talent competition.

Guitar shredding, mournful serenades, and interpretive dance graced the Performing Arts Center stage on Nov. 2 at United Choir of Brea’s annual talent show, Brea’s Got Talent.

After 20 performances, the winners of the competition were announced: sophomore Simone Ligason-Tiquia, in the “Best in Other” category, and ninth-grader Indy Bomgaars and seventh-grader Judah Teal, for “Best Vocalist” and “Best Junior High Vocalist,” respectively.

“[Winning] obviously was really scary, but it was also a relief,” Bomgaars, who sang a cover of Miley Cyrus’s ballad “When I Look at You,” said.

Masquerade choir students and hosts — seniors Dominic Rodriguez and Peyton Deck, sophomore Ella DyReyes, and junior Sammie Reutter — introduced each act with humorous commentary, eliciting laughter from participants’ families and friends in the audience.

DyReyes said the jokes and introductions were inspired by the individual acts, with some improv from Rodriguez. “It was really fun, but stressful,” said Rodriguez.  

The opening performance of Act One was a vocal cover of Birdy’s “Not About Angels” by Megan Smylie, sophomore. 

Other song covers included tunes from Disney soundtracks, Laufey hits, and Adele classics.

Sophomore Jayden Luarca sang an emotional rendition of Laufey’s “From the Start.”  “I deeply enjoyed every second of [performing]. [Laufey] creates beautiful music, and I wanted to share one of her soothing, jazzy songs with the crowd,” they said. 

Seniors Jocelyn Islas and Sean Cronin paired to sing a melancholy duet of Taylor Swift’s “Exile” and “Evermore.” Cronin, who played the piano and sang, had the idea to combine the two songs because of their similar chord sequence, influence from Bon Iver, and imaginative lyricism. 

“I haven’t performed with Jocelyn since our freshman year, three years ago. [Performing] was really fun and memorable,” Cronin said.

Islas echoed Cronin’s enthusiasm for the long-awaited duet. “It was super fun to get up on stage after so much time, and being able to do it alongside my best friend was really special,” Islas said. “Performing gives me a feeling like no other where I can [put] all my emotion into a song.”

Following the vocal performances of Act One, Bobcats from Brea Junior High performed more song covers, beginning with eighth-grader Michael Jang’s act-opening “Your Song,” by Elton John. 

This year was the first year junior high students could participate in Brea’s Got Talent, and they managed to impress fellow performers and judges alike, capping the evening with two of the three available awards. 

Teal performed a confident, note-shifting ukelele cover of “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars.

Rodriguez, who performed with Teal’s older sister, Anjin Teal (grad year) in the past, thought Judah’s victory was a memorable, and fitting, way to continue a family legacy: Anjin performed in Masquerade choir, winning team awards for her vocal skills. “I was proud of Judah. She’s really talented, [and] it was fun to see Judah win and carry on Anjin’s legacy.”

Bomgaars said it was terrifying performing on a high school stage, but the ninth grader’s endearing cover of “When I Look at You” by Miley Cyrus still won her the “Best Vocalist” award. “I think I practiced at least a thousand times,” she said. 

Ligason-Tiquia’s ensuing performance of Chopin’s “Fantaisie-Impromptu” impressed the judges enough to earn her the “Best in Other Categories” title. The fast-paced classical movement featured deft playing by Ligason-Tiquia, her fingers a blur over the piano’s keys. 

“I was really honored, [and] I felt happy for all of the support,” Ligason-Tiquia said of her award-winning performance.

Everly Chavez, sophomore attendee, was proud of her friend’s accomplishment. “I was amazed by her skills and all that she could do on the piano,” Chavez said.

2023’s Brea’s Got Talent closed with all of the performers on stage bowing together.

Judging the performances were Nadia Fox, French teacher, Sarah Higueros, Physical Education Teacher, Rob Stelmar, guidance counselor, and seniors Lola Santana and Angel Lara. 

Fox was impressed by the confidence and talent of each student taking the stage. “It was actually a very tedious task to try to grade each performance as art is so subjective, and every performer shined in their own right,” Fox said.

Higueros also appreciated her students’ talents, and she already looks forward to next year’s Brea’s Got Talent. “I hope to see even more students perform next year [with] a bigger audience…they won’t be disappointed.”

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  • Gracia Tiquia-SmartNov 18, 2023 at 1:15 am

    Congratulations to Breas’ Got Talent organizers and Judges for Staging the talents of young students of the High School. And most of all I would like to congratulate my grandniece Simone Ligason -Tiquia for coping the “Best in Other” category. Am sure she will be more inspired to further her talent in playing the piano.