THE much anticipated show was called Heywood’s Got Talent and it certainly lived up to its name. Midway through the show, judge Eimear Morrissey remarked that it was way above any other school talent show she had ever seen.
Eimear (currently playing Emily Mahon in RTE’s Fair City) was joined by two other judges - Shelly Naughton who runs her own dance academy, and Damien Bowe a past pupil of Heywood. MC for the night was Sinead O’Carroll formerly of B*Witched.
After an opening performance of the Rhythm of Life by the school choir, the first act was Jamie Bartley. He sang Damien Rice’s “Cannonball” with great passion and intensity.
Next came Generation a group of 2nd year students (Eva Lawler, Julie Ann Dunphy, Liam Oxley, Dearbhla O’Callaghan and Aoife Callanan). They performed “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men and really impressed the judges.
Next came Bronwyn Dunne who performed “What if” by Kate Winslet and really impressed with the emotion and tone and vocal range she showed. She was followed by Joe Finnegan, a small person with a big personality. Michael Kirkman then performed. Michael was the only performer from the previous talent show the H Factor.
The first half contest ended with Rewind Replay - a band consisting of Lydia Lyons, Ian Whelan, Aran Shahrestani and Hannah Roche. The half ended with teacher Ms Afra O’Malley’s dance group Hustle performing.
The second part opened with a surprise act performed by the teachers of the school. Playing musical icons of the recent past it starred Ms Denise Cuddy as Marylyn Monroe, Mr Antony Reynolds as Elvis Presley, Mr Pat Garvey sang as Johnny Cash, Ms Olive Guest as Lady Ga Ga, Mr Kieran Lillis and Mr Paul Broderick as Jedward, and Mr Fred Tuite as Psy, the creator of Gangham Style to which the entire cast danced to whoops and hollers of delight and disbelief.
The concert continued with Eoghan Murphy and David Vesey singing “Hall of Fame” by The Script. They were followed by Kerri-Ann O’Grady who wowed audience with ‘Proud Mary’ by Tina Turner. Things calmed down a little for Eva Wullich singing “Decode” by Paramore.
Next on was Aaron Phelan to give an evocative and emotional performance of ‘The A Team’ by Ed Sheeran. Amy Phelan followed singing a powerful ballad ‘Read All About It’ by Emeli Sandé and showing great musicality and maturity in its delivery.
Finally came Neil McEvoy to give a rocking performance of “Shake Me Down” by Cage the Elephant.
While the judges went away to perform the unenviable task of picking winners and runners up the audience were entertained by H-Factor winner Aoife Meade singing Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back to Black’. The choir also returned under conductor Ms Geraldine Ryan and performed ‘Tears in Heaven’ by Eric Clapton.
Then it was time to announce the two runners up - Joe Finnegan and Generation and then the winner Aaron Phelan who accepted his trophy and then gave a reprise of ‘The A Team’ now that he can count himself as one of them.
The audience left impressed and amazed by the depth of talent at Heywood Community School.