More than just an expression stole the spotlight during Friday night’s Black History Club Talent Show at Warren County High School. The “last, but not least” performance of Josh Wannamaker won first place.
“I’m happy about it,” Wannamaker said just before being surrounded by family and friends after the announcement was made.
The last of 16 performances to take the stage, he was announced as “last, but not least” by the show’s emcee, football coach Tommy Johnson.
Wannamaker has been writing and singing his own songs for years. For the last four years, he has learned to play acoustic guitar. A harmonica, that was given to him by a family member, was added to his list of instruments about two years ago.
For the talent show, he combined all four of his talents into one. Wannamaker says the song was an original entitled “Don’t Look Down,” in which he uses an acoustic guitar and harmonica to accompany the lyrics.
“It’s a song about growing up,” he said.
The audience, relatively silent throughout the performance, erupted into cheers with the last note. Judges shook their heads in appreciation, while at least one mouthed the word “wow” to another judge.
Coming in second was Adrienne Lance. She played piano and sand “I’m Holding Nothing Back From You.” Third place went to Jacob Griffin and Lesley Sweeton, who sung a duet of “Wagon Wheel,” with him on guitar and her on piano.
Seven acts were chosen to perform for the entire student body at school this week. Taking the fourth- through seventh-place spots, respectively, were soloist Devin Bouldin, the band Tonight’s Entertainment, and soloists Patricia Winkler, and Conrad Hardison.
Adding humor to the show was its emcee.
“We got some talent here tonight,” said coach Johnson. “I didn’t realize our student body was so talented. I couldn’t play dead in a western, but some of these kids can play two to three instruments.”
In announcing performer Stephen Roberts, Johnson referred to him as an “old soul” in a young body. Following the performance, he added, “Steven, you tell that soul the 16-year-old wants his body back.”
Just prior to the announcement of the winners, Black History Club organizer Wayne Wolford presented Jeffrey Martin with a plaque of appreciation from club members.
“We want to show our appreciation for everything he has done for the Black History Club,” said Wolford. “Because of his efforts, this is our 15th annual Talent Show.”
As well as being its founder approximately 17 years ago, Martin was an dedicated organizer of the club until recently when he resigned from being a grade-level principal at the school to work in administration.
Wolford has been a long-standing supporter of the club. He helped Martin for years organize events such as the Talent Show and educational trips for students. In Martin’s absence, Wolford offered his assistance to Jalane Grayson and Tina Ramsey — the current club organizers.
A second presentation followed Martin’s. Ramsey presented Wolford with a plaque for his support and dedication to the club.
“It’s not until you step up to help that you realize you can’t do it alone,” Ramsey said. “We would like to show our appreciate to Wayne Wolford for his many years of dedication to the Black History Club.”
Proceeds from the event will be used to fund a Black History Club trip to Memphis in June. The trip will be to learn about black history and visit historical sites.