A few weekends back, the Oakley Youth Advisory Council presented the Second Annual Oakley's Got Talent Competition. Since my wife, who is a grade school teacher, knew a few of the younger children performing, we decided to head over and check it out. This year, the event was held at the new Recreation Center located at 1250 O'Hara Avenue. I had been looking for an excuse to swing by and take a look, and this event provided the perfect opportunity. I was not disappointed in the least. The building is beautifully designed, and I look forward to participating in many events there.
Oakley Youth Advisory Council
This post will be a review of the Oakley's Got Talent event, the Rec Center itself, and provide a little more information about the Youth Advisory Council, too. Let's start with the Youth Advisory Council, which is a twenty-one member council made up of youth representatives who help plan and attend events in Oakley that are designed for youth and families. They also advise the City of Oakley on policies that impact the youth community.
The council also helps with the Harvest Festival, Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, the Oakley Youth Summit, and more. It is a great way for the youth of our community to get involved, to learn about how the governmental processes work, and to provide services to the community that might not be available at the same level that the city provides without these youth being willing to help.
Oakley Recreation Center
Officially open in mid-April, the nine-thousand square-foot building includes a four-thousand square-foot community room that can host over three-hundred guests, an eleven-hundred square-foot commercial kitchen, a conference room, indoor stage, outdoor patio, and a multipurpose athletic field.
The community room was the location for this year's Oakley's Got Talent, and by my estimate, they had nearly two-hundred people in attendance that night. The interior of the community room is absolutely stunning. It boasts beautiful hardwood floors, modern lighting, exposed wood beams, neutral colors, and plenty of windows. The chairs used that night were padded and comfortable, at least for the amount of time that I used one. If there were any complaints at all, it would be that, based on the way the seating was arranged and the height of the stage, it was difficult to see the performers at times, especially the younger ones.
The Talent Was Evident
The show itself began in dramatic fashion, with the Master of Ceremonies appearing behind a screen while amplified music pumped through the room. The emcee for the night was a young woman named Allison Felix, and she was absolutely perfect for the role. She introduced each of the performers with excitement, delivered her lines with enthusiasm, and engaged with the audience like a seasoned pro. She even brought a few people from the audience up to the stage to showcase their hidden talents, which helped keep the atmosphere in the room feeling joyful and light.
From the first performer to the last, I have to say I was impressed by the list of talent. Most of the performers were either singing or dancing, but a few did play instruments as well, and they performed beautifully. During one of the performances, the sound system was having issues, and they had to restart the performance twice before they got the sound right. The contestant at that time, who was playing a song on an electric keyboard, didn't hesitate to go right back to the start and play over again. A sign of a true professional!
The Winners Announced!
With the wide range in age of the performers, it had been announced that the talent would be judged in two categories; those who were age eleven or younger, and those who were age twelve and above. Though every performer brought their best that night, the two that won for each division were definitely a step above. In the younger division, that award was given to Mason Adams, who both played guitar and sang to the Beatles tune, Eight Days a Week. His performance was exemplary, he displayed perfect stage presence, and he had the audience enthralled the whole time.
For the older division, Jordyn Mitchell walked away with the prize, singing a wonderful Billie Eilish song titled, Listen Before I Go. Oh, and those few brave audience members who came up on stage? Well, one of them – Josh Gonzalez, who sang Fly Me to the Moon – walked away with the prize for Most Talented Audience Member! Not an easy feat seeing as how he performed without any practice or warm-up before the event! He did Frank Sinatra proud!
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