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Eclipse Takes First Place At Third Annual THON Showcase

Eclipse took home the first-place prize of $2,500 and the opportunity to perform during THON weekend at the third annual THON showcase event Thursday evening in Eisenhower Auditorium.

The showcase serves as a talent show of sorts and an opportunity to raise money for THON for Penn State’s student organizations.

Three Penn State School of Theatre students — Daniel Tracht, Jack Maloney, and Keaina Nesbitt — provided the evening’s winning act. They performed a four-chord song and crowd favorites such as “Price Tag” by Jessie J, “Firework” by Katy Perry, and “Party In The U.S.A” by Miley Cyrus.

In fourth place was the Urban Dance Troupe, which closed out the night with a high energy hip-hop dance routine. Brooke Bailey represented Alpha Delta Pi with her performance of “Come Together” by The Beatles to take third, and special interest org FOTO took second after its mashup of “Shallow” and “Someone You Loved” by students Jeremy Fratoni and Makenna Mink.

Bailey, Fratoni, and Mink will also perform at THON Weekend in February.

The event’s panel of judges included President of the Penn State Performing Arts Council Connor Pardoe, Executive Director of Penn State Homecoming Julia Greco, Dance Professor at the School of Theatre Linda Hildebrand, THON Executive Director Regina Duesler, and two representatives from the showcase sponsor: First National Bank.

Penn State Dance Alliance kicked off the showcase with a jazz routine and delivered a high-energy kickline finish.

The Blue & White Society brought the evening’s first duet to the stage, with Shakay Simpson and Victor Oliveira performing Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.”

Whiplash came in as the fifth performance of the night and performed a hip-hop dance routine. The final two acts before intermission came from the Tapestry Dance Company and The Singing Lions.

Penn State’s original all-female a cappella group Savoir Faire started off the second act by representing independent dancer couple Ilana Zipkin and Kristy Grauer. The evening’s first THON committee then took the stage, with Mollie Comella singing “Is That Alright?” by Lady Gaga representing Brooke Iobst’s Dancer Relations Committee.

Emily Scott’s Entertainment Committee brought the third duo of the night to the stage with Eric Damiano on vocals and Elle Hood on keyboard for a rendition of “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes.

Hailey Burbage, the winner of the 2019 Thon Showcase, returned again this year, but this time competing with the Society of Women Engineers. She performed a powerful solo dance to “Medicine.”

One of the final acts of the night came from Theta Delta Chi members Sam Black and Nick Ardnt. They sang their original song “Baby Blue” while playing the acoustic guitar.

At the end of the evening, the audience heard from Penn State freshman Isabella Messina, who is a three-time cancer survivor. Messina explained how THON and Four Diamonds have impacted her life. Her younger brother, Jack, donated bone marrow to Isabella when he was two years old to help save her life.

We dance in 28.

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About the Author

Ryen Gailey

Ryen is a junior early childhood education major from "right outside of Philly" - or in exact words, from 23.0 miles outside of Philly. She loves all things Penn State and has been a huge Penn State gal since before she could walk. Send her pictures of puppies, or hate mail at [email protected]


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