Talent Search returns for Homecoming Week 2021

Meet the performers of this year’s Talent Search

Hope Kiel- Solo, “All Falls Down”

Leann Phillips- Original Composition, “Clay Heart”

Griffin Grabowski- Dance, “Risky Business”

Maleyah Nowell- Solo, “I Don’t Wanna Be You Anymore”

Richaun Stewart- Original Composition, “Haven’t Found It Yet”

Teah Mirabelli, Jenna MacNulty, and Kelsey Dunn- Music Ensemble, “The Sunshine Medley”

Annika Erickson- Solo, “My Man”

Shelby Brown & Ingrid Schwartz- Freestyle, “Get Here”

Jacob Motz- Instrumental, “Etude. Op. 72, No. 6 in F Major”

Delaney Hunter- Original Composition, “What Do They Know”

Jaylei Osting- Dance, “Sunday Morning”

Caleb Sholty, Scott Carter and Jonah Herman- Music Ensemble, “Who I’d Be”

Paige Lichnerowicz- Solo, “Think of Me”

Ben Heber- Original Composition, “Lost and Found”

The Annual Student Scholarship Talent Search returned to Pruis Hall, signaling the beginning of student festivities for Ball State’s fall 2021 Homecoming. 

While in previous years, the event had also been used to crown the Homecoming king and queen, this year’s interpretation of the event focused exclusively on student performances. Contestants competed in categories, rather than competing from a full field of performances.

After 14 separate performances, which included a tap-dance version of Tom Cruise’s iconic dance in “Risky Business,” it was sophomore music education major Jacob Motz who emerged as the overall winner of the competition.

“Coming into like a talent show, you’re going to go up against all sorts of different kinds of acts like ‘America's Got Talent’ or something, where it's kind of hard to beat the big ginormous acts with tons of people and stuff, and to come in and just play piano and just do my thing and get recognized for that is really kind of special to me,” Motz said.

Motz won both their category, instrumental performance, and the overall best in show award for their performance of Moritz Moszkowski’s classical piece “Etude. Op. 72, No. 6 in F Major” on the piano.

The following performers won their individual categories:

Dance: Jaylei Osting- Dance, “Sunday Morning”

Freestyle: Shelby Brown & Ingrid Schwartz- Freestyle, “Get Here”

Instrumental: Jacob Motz- Instrumental, “Etude. Op. 72, No. 6 in F Major”

Solo: Maleyah Nowell- Solo, “I Don’t Wanna Be You Anymore”

Musical Ensemble: Teah Mirabelli, Jenna MacNulty, and Kelsey Dunn- Music Ensemble, “The Sunshine Medley”

Original Composition: Ben Heber- Original Composition, “Lost and Found”

Six categories were featured this year: dance, freestyle, instrumental, solo, musical ensemble and original composition. $500 in scholarships was up for grabs for the winner of each category, with the overall winner receiving an additional $500.

Motz, who began playing piano at age five and had been practicing the piece since the previous semester, said they selected their piece because it summarized the range of feelings they felt during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It's easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged by all of it, and I felt the piece, it's in F major, it's a really happy key, and I thought it just really did a good job of conveying that and also it has a pretty nice ending,” Motz said.

Contact John Lynch with comments at jplynch@bsu.edu or on Twitter @WritesLynch.

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