On Feb. 28, the Black Student Alliance (BSA) hosted its 7th annual Apollo Night on campus. The event
was created in order for students, alumni and people of the community to come out and showcase their
talents. Sophmore Sheryl Tingling and freshman Jaumonne Byrd were the announcers for the evening
and provided light commentary for the night.
BSA was inspired to host the event on campus by “Amateur Night at the Apollo,” an event that
originated in New York. The only exception is that the local talent completion does not promote that
the audience jeer the performers. “At Maryville College we are a community and we want to encourage
each other,” Tingling said.
From spoken word to singing to interpretive dance, the hour-long event displayed a variety of talent
at MC. “I really enjoyed seeing the step team perform because they are extremely elusive on campus
and it was great to see them on stage,” Tingling said.
Maryville College sophomore Elizabeth Datskou came to watch her friends participate in the show.
“I was really happy to see Emily [Medley] sing because I wasn’t aware that she was that good, and it
was great to see her showcase her talent along with everyone else who participated,” said Datskou.
From the 7 acts that performed at the event, three winners emerged. The finalists received cash
prizes of varying amounts.
The top five contestants were chosen by a panel of judges that included Vandy Kemp, vice president
and dean of the college and Larry Ervin, advisor of BSA. The five top performers were then narrowed
down to the top three. The winner was determined by the audience’s applause. The third prize winner
was Joe McBrien, second prize went to Germani Williams and the first prize award went to Serena
Hughes, sophomore and Bill, sophomore. Hughes and Hewitt sang “Barton Hallow, a song made famous
by The Civil Wars.
In addition to the great performances, the talent show had various members of the BSA organization
come up and say what they enjoyed most about being part of BSA.
“I like feeling like I’m a part of a family, which is extremely nice because I live in California and I don’t
get a chance to go home that often,” said Germani William, sophomore and co-event coordinator.
The inclusion of what the organization does made the night more special. The perspective from
students, freshmen to seniors, created a sense of community and further illustrates how close you
become in an organization. The organization welcomes anyone to join and hopes to raise attendance for
upcoming BSA events.
Overall, the event was a success and BSA is looking forward to putting on next year’s show. “It was
really stressful, but in the end it all came together and I’m really proud of everyone who helped make
this possible,” said BSA president Jerica Johnson.
As the semester comes to an end, BSA is wrapping up their annual events. The final event BSA will
host this year is the annual Kool-Aid party. Everyone is encouraged to come out and have fun and de-
stress before finals week.