A young woman with a ukulele has broken Byrne Creek Secondary School’s two-year grip on the top prize at the annual district-wide Burnaby’s Got Talent student talent show Monday.
Singer-songwriter Haleluya Hailu of Burnaby North Secondary launched herself into the final four of the competition at the Michael J. Fox Theatre singing a brisk, sardonic number of her own creation called Choke while accompanying herself on the ukulele.
Hailu was up against 15 other competitors (the contest features two acts from each of Burnaby eight high schools), including singers, dancers and even a dog trainer, Hannah Kinnie with her pup Lucy.
A panel of judges then picked Hailu, Alpha Secondary singing group Darkness Cubed (Annika Guy, Paniz Najjar, Mina Garlick and Mahon Yousefi), Burnaby Central’s Isabella Troche and Moriah Jacaruso (a singing duo) and Patrick Zhu and Andrew Lee (violin with piano) to give an encore performance in the second half of the contest.
The audience then crowned Hailu after she performed a second original piece called The Feeling with no Name.
The competition – organized every year by the Burnaby District Student Advisory Council (DSAC) – drew an audience of about 500 and raised at least $3,000 for the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction.
“We have been working extremely hard to put on the event and we are beyond excited to see how the funds will be used to better our community,” DSAC president Melissa Wang told the NOW in an emailed statement.