Photo taken by Summer Griffin of Shannon Brown, Sage Sneith, and Raiven Gonzalez who observed and participated in the event.
Written by: Summer Griffin
Late in the evening on the 28th of September, music rang infinitely across the admin building as people began to huddle into Cecilian Hall for the Homecoming Talent Show. From jaw-dropping jump rope acts to heartfelt original songs and Bruno Mars melodies, the event was a testament to the incredible talents that reside within the Seton Hill community.
This exceptional event was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Seton Hill Programming Board, the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, and the Black Student Union. Their joint sponsorship brought this evening to life and demonstrated the diverse array of talents spanning across Seton Hill’s educational disciplines.
The Associate Athletic Director and judge of the show, Mark Katarski, said, “I think it’s very reflective of the Seton Hill community and its diverse talents in so many ways. I’ve worked in athletics here for 11 years, and we often consider our athletes talented. Here, we get to see other talents in different places on campus. In its over one hundred-year history, Seton Hill has always welcomed a wide array of talents, and I think that’s so great to be able to celebrate that.”
The audience, made up of families, students, and staff, had immense enthusiasm and unwavering support for the performers. One spectator, Autumn Burke, described the atmosphere as “endlessly energetic and extremely supportive of every student who went on stage.” She marveled at the many skills on display and was surprised to discover that each student performer came from a different educational discipline. As a student’s family member, she shared her thoughts toward the event, saying, “I don’t even go to school here, but I can feel the support all around. It seems like such a wonderful place to be, and I’m glad to have been given the opportunity to attend this event.”
Stephanie Christ, who took to the stage with an original song, was among the remarkable talents showcased that evening. Her performance was not merely an act but a deeply personal expression of her journey in overcoming mental health challenges, accompanied by a ukulele. Christ’s lyrics conveyed the raw emotion of feeling as though people had ‘stopped caring’ during her battle with mental health. She explained, “I wrote the lyrics seven or eight months ago when I needed an outlet for my mental health. I wasn’t suicidal anymore, but it felt like everyone stopped caring.” Her heartfelt wish was not for recognition, but for someone to hear her song and say, ‘Finally, someone sees the way I feel.’ She highlighted the importance of seeking help even when one isn’t in a state of crisis, stating, “You don’t have to be suicidal to need help.”
In the midst of this captivating showcase of talent, the true essence of finding a ‘home on the hill’ was palpable. It goes beyond forging meaningful relationships with peers and staff or engaging in clubs and volunteer organizations. It’s about finding a sense of belonging and connection, whether through the soul-stirring melodies of Max Yonko’s ‘Sweet Honeycomb,’ the awe-inspiring jump rope skills of Shannon Brown, or the profound lyrics of Stephanie Christ. In these moments, the Seton Hill community came together to celebrate not just talent but the shared spirit of belonging that defines ‘home’ on the hill.