Students show off talent in UNIQUE’s annual Sac State’s Got Talent show


Leticia Sanchez

K-Pop group “Krescendo” performing an elaborate dance number on stage in the University Union Ballroom. Sac State’s Got Talent was held in the University Union on Thursday, Nov. 14.

Leticia Sanchez and Khala Clarke

Sacramento State UNIQUE Programs hosted its annual Sac State’s Got Talent show Thursday in the University Union Ballroom.

K-Pop group “Krescendo” took home third place, beatboxer Gavin Willson took second place and singer Adayus Carter took home the grand prize.

Contestants were judged by UNIQUE Program volunteers. In order for contestants to place they had to meet the judges’ criteria which ranged from performer content, stage presence and audience engagement. 

The show featured 20 performers, some returning from previous years and some new to performing as a whole. 

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The State Hornet spoke with some of the performers prior to and during the show on Nov. 14. 

Adriana Gallegos, Guitarist

Adriana Gallegos, a gerontology major at Sac State, played her guitar, which she started playing three years ago.

Gallegos said she tries to practice every other day and learn new songs every few weeks. Her inspirations are artists like Jessie Reyez and Kehlani. 

From Selma, California, Gallegos said she ventured out to try new things when she started school at Sac State.

“I’ve always wanted to try to learn an instrument but I always thought that it would be too hard,” Gallegos said. “Then I said ‘I’m not going to know unless I try it,’ so I just bought it and that’s when I started (learning).”

Gavin Willson, Beatboxer and Dancer

Gavin Willson, a graphic design major at Sac State, performed a routine that included beatboxing and dance. Willson said he started beatboxing two years ago and gained inspiration from YouTube.

His love for performing was ignited with his passion for dance, which Willson says has been a lifetime hobby of his and started teaching kids how to dance a few years ago.

“I’ve always loved performing in front of people, and it started with dance. When I found this different art of beatboxing, I really liked it and I was really into it. When I figured out that I could do it, I started trying to figure out ways to do it on stage, so that turned into this whole performing aspect and something that I love doing,” said Willson.

RELATED: Sac State beatboxer competing in Celebration of Music talent search

Salinha Kieu and Camia Parker, Singers

Camia Parker is a film major at Sac State, her talent is singing and she performed a duet with fellow performer Salinha Kieu. Parker has always practiced singing as a lifelong hobby but didn’t start singing in a group until her freshman year of high school where she sang for her school’s choir group.

She enjoys writing songs in her free time and listening to music. Parker draws inspiration to write music from her favorite pop and R&B artists like Alessia Cara. 

Kieu is a theatre major at Sac State. Kieu started to sing when she joined her high school’s choir group with Parker, and says that she wouldn’t have pursued singing if it wasn’t for Parker. Regardless, she loves acting and dancing in her free time and performing is something that Kieu has well under her belt.

“I do it because it’s fun, and I love being out there and giving something to the crowd to enjoy,” Kieu said.

Kieu says that she and Parker complement each other well when singing together, as Parker usually sings the main melodies and Kieu harmonizes with her. 

Iyo Chen, Singer

Iyo Chen is an exchange student from Japan and is a second-year political science major at Sacramento State. Chen started singing when she was 5 years old just for fun. Chen said she continues to sing because she has been in musical clubs since she was 12 years old and it’s always been fun for her. 

English is not Chen’s first language but when she sings she creates her own unique style by singing in both Japanese and English.

Sergio Chavez, Guitarist and Singer

Sergio Chavez began playing the guitar two years ago when his older brother gave him his guitar as a Christmas present. Chavez said he started singing two months ago because he wanted to take on a new challenge.  

 “I think singing enhances guitar playing, and I feel like I have mastered playing guitar and I wanted more of a challenge,” Chavez said.

Sac State’s Got Talent show was Chavez’s first performance singing in front of a crowd.

James Olesen, Magician

James Olesen, a computer science major at Sac State, took up card magic just a few months ago. Olesen said he just wanted something quick to learn over summer, little did he know he would be performing in front of audiences. 

Olesen decided to audition for the talent as a way to become more confident with public speaking.

Olesen said he has also been playing the trumpet for 13 years but decided to only perform his card magic set because it has an element of surprise.