Dance Duo, Kaden Harris and Keelyn McDonald performing Don't Let Me Down, by The Chainsmokers. Photo by Lance Nesbitt | For the Capital City Weekly.
Micah Mende mixing some Michael Jackson into his performance at the 2017 Juneau's Got Talent. Photo by Lance Nesbitt | For the Capital City Weekly.
Acro Dancer, Shaelyn Lee performing Genie In The Bottle, by Dove Cameron. Photo by Lance Nesbitt | For the Capital City Weekly.
Salissa Thole (center) and Ericka Lee (right) receiving the final votes at the 2017 Juneau's Got Talent. Photo by Lance Nesbitt | For the Capital City Weekly.
Vocalist, Sue Kazama piano accompanist and Catherine Pashigian performing Habanera, from Bizet's Carmen. Photo by Lance Nesbitt | For the Capital City Weekly.
Fifteen-year-old electric violinist Noatak Post performs. Post won first place at the second annual Juneau's Got Talent. Photo by Lance Nesbitt | For the Capital City Weekly.
Story last updated at 3/14/2017 - 3:55 pm
There’s only one event in the capital city where you’ll hear music from musicians as varied as Puccini to Evanescence, or performances from hip hop dancing to martial arts: Juneau’s Got Talent.
The second annual JGT, a fundraiser put on by and for Juneau Dance Theatre, brought in a crowd on Saturday night, March 11 at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. This crowd was the ninth judge. Attendees put their tickets in butterfly nets and boxes passed around by roving JDT members. After the votes were tallied, the highest count made up one vote to be weighed with the other judges’ votes, selecting 15-year-old electric violinist Noatak Post as the first place winner.
“I was genuinely surprised because there was stiff competition and everyone else was very, very good,” Post said after the show.
He was right. There were quite a few stellar performances, and it was unclear who would win out in end as the show progressed since each performance received enthusiastic cheers from the crowd – but as Post drew out the last note of “Secrets” by One Republic, he received the one and only standing ovation of the night.
Post has played violin since he was four or five years old, first getting his start at Barefoot Bluegrass, a summer camp where he received his first violin, he said. It wasn’t until August 2016 that he picked up the electric violin, inspired by electric violinist and street performer Bryson Andres. Post saw a video of Andres playing “Secrets” online, and knew he wanted to be able to do the same. Since then, Post has been practicing his own rendition of “Secrets,” always adding a little bit of improvisation. He heard about Juneau’s Got Talent from a family member. While he had four to five songs he felt like he could perform, he knew he wanted “Secrets” due to its sound and the familiarity the audience would have with it.
An electric violin is similar to a traditional violin, but it becomes something more with the “looper” he said. At the competition, Post played a portion of the melody and it began to loop, creating a layered sound.
“I push a button, and it starts recording, I push it again and it starts repeating over and over again. I push it again and it adds more loops to it. Different buttons do different patterns and different things and I can create different effects,” he said.
Post will play the cello in Thunder Mountain High School’s upcoming production of “Beauty and the Beast.” He said he’d like to pursue music professionally, either as a teacher, performer, or conductor.
Post wasn’t the only performer stealing the show. For the second time, Micah Mende came in second for Juneau’s Got Talent. He wowed the audience with his unique and lively original composition that fused together martial arts, drumming and dancing. He even did a little Michael Jackson dance portion at the end and threw his hat to the audience, much to their delight. JDT’s artistic director Zachary Hench was the one who caught it.
He learned the whole routine in a week, Mende said after the show.
Coming in third was dancing duo Kaden Harris and Keelyn McDonald, performing to “Don’t Let Me Down” by the Chainsmokers. They synchronized smoothly for their ballet-inspired routine, pulling off leaps and other feats that had several audience members standing up to get a better look.
Other performers were James Pothier, Shaelyn Lee, The G Sisters (Gloria Bixby and Grace McAdoo), We On Top (Teslyn Harris, Sophia Owen, Valerie Remsburg, Aliyah Smith, Isadora Vercessi), Jaylynn Martin, Bryan Graceland, Catherine Pashigian, Saelyr Hunt, Sienna Paddock, Anna McDowell, Jessica Snyder and Krystal Bischoff.
To learn more about Juneau Dance Theatre, go to: juneaudance.org.
Contact Capital City Weekly staff writer Clara Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.