St. Ben’s variety show highlights student talents

Students at St. Benedicts School got to showcase their own talents at the 2009 Variety Show. With one karate kick, student Natalie O’Rourke breaks a block of wood.

St. Benedict’s school is not putting on another version of American Idol, lets make that clear immediately. But they are showcasing student talent in what has become an anticipated event at the school.

Students in grades ranging from kindergarten to grade 8 performed in the school’s 2009 Variety Show. St. Benedict’s School held the afternoon of dance, singing, musical performances, and magic shows in its auditorium.

School principal Carole Arbolino said that gathering the entire student body together on Friday, May 15 and allowing any student who wished to showcase talent to do so helped build school spirit.

“It is a nice spirit-building event,” Arbolino said. “All grades were welcomed to participate. We have students with special gifts who want to showcase their talents.”

Arbolino said that the students participating practiced once a week for two months after school, and are brave for getting onto the stage in front of hundreds of their fellow classmates.

“It does take a lot of courage to get up in front of an audience of your peers and perform,” Arbolino said.

Father Richard Smith, the spiritual leader of St. Benedict’s School, was also in attendance as 33 different students made presentations.

“I think our variety show is a good way to build a sense of community by having the children present their own talents and reach their potential in doing so,” Smith said. “We have a Christmas show every year, dances for the 8th graders, and gather together in celebration of mass, as well. All of those events help build the St. Benedict’s School community.”

A third grader at the school said at first it was a difficult decision to get up in front of her classmates. However, after encouragement from her father, teacher, and classmates, she sang Lizzie McGuire’s song What Dreams of Made Of with ease.

“I have been working since March and practicing every day,” said Darla Serricchio, who performed in the show. “I was having a difficult time making up my mind on what to sing, but my father suggested that I try something from Lizzie McGuire.”

Serricchio, a Throggs Neck resident who also dances at Fancy Feet studio at 1628 Crosby Avenue, said that her friends from class not only cheered her on, but were supportive behind the scenes.

“My classmates told me that they were there for me and said they wanted me to do a great job,” Serricchio said. “My teacher Miss Ammirati told me not to listen to people who may tell me I shouldn’t sing.”

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