Robert Borden was giddy, clutching his first-place place trophy as he mingled with friends and family at the Guilford’s Got Talent II awards ceremony Sunday after wooing the judges with his performance of his original song, “Windshield.”
“It means a lot,” said Borden. “I felt like I performed my best. I had a lot of friends performing so I didn’t want to be too hopeful, because I love my friends.”
But he confessed, “It feels really good to win!”
His mother, Margaret, echoed this sentiment.
“He’s really into not only showcasing himself, but he also really enjoys other talent and getting to know other musicians.”
Presented by D.A.Y., Guilford Youth and Family Services and Guilford Parks and Recreation the competition was open to Guilford residents ages 1 to 18. The event was developed around the groups’ mission to help build a healthier environment for children in Guilford.
More than 40 entries were received and reviewed, from which 20 finalists were chosen to perform. While musical performances dominated the stage, there was also karate, Irish step dancing, and gymnastics.
Judge Dr. Robert Nolfo said Borden deserved the first-place honor, standing out amongst all the other performers, for “his enthusiasm, his creativity in writing his own music, his talent, his singing ability and his guitar playing ability. You have the whole package.”
Nolfo, of Guilford Pediatrics, in addition to serving as the Guilford Public Schools medical advisor, joined Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Freeman, Ed Bartlett, founder of shorelineoutandabout.com and ctoutandabout.com, and D.A.Y. Prevention Coordinator Dana Pelliccio, on the judging panel.
In addition to Borden’s first-place trophy the judges awarded Megan Vanacore 2nd place for her rendition of “Many A New Day” and 3rd place to Devin Patton, who performed “Turning Tables.”
The show was emceed by John “Cadillac” Saville, best known as a radio personality on Country 92.5, but locally loved because of his deep family roots in Guilford. Having grown up in town and then settling here with his wife, Patti, John volunteered his time for Guilford’s Got Talent for the second year in a row because he believes in what the event represents.
“All my life I’ve been a big fan of the arts,” said Saville. “I was raised to really appreciate all kinds of music and the theater and movies. So I have a deep seeded interest in seeing the youth do very well with this because I had so many opportunities to do this as a kid growing up.”
One of the youngest, if not the youngest, performers, Anna Angkatavanich, sang “Rolling In The Deep” as her father, Todd Angkatavanich, accompanied her on the guitar. The 10-year-old’s small frame moved to the beat of song emanating from her incredibly bold voice, while at the same time she put her hands together to clap. The audience loved her, clapping along with her.
“I know a few bands that could use her as a lead singer,” said Judge Edwin Bartlett.
“She’s really over the past year, really kind of blossomed with her voice,” her father, Todd, said. “So she’s gone from being a cute kid singing to really actually having a good voice.”
Bartlett was impressed with the depth of the talent performing. “For me, it’s always great to see the kids do it because there’s just so much talent…it’s really great to see this.”
It was obvious the audience was enjoying the entertainment throughout the event. Saville said this is a testament to how important arts is to the entire Guilford community.
“Talk about arts thriving,” said Saville. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I’ve been here virtually all my life. People actually support the arts and come out in numbers to support it. They could be in a lot of different place on a beautiful day like today, but they chose to be here and support the young kids.”
Other Acts Included:
Rachel Connolly, Carolyn Duman & Erin Lamberton performing “A Thousand Years
Abigail Connolly, Olivia Liebler & Zachariah Connolly performing “The Show”
Steven Asterino performing “Piano Man”
Ali Alfonso performing “Love Song” Accompanied by Rachel Connolly
Jessica Decensi performing “Temporary Home”
Alice Morman performing “Dreams” Accompanied by Steve Capasso
The Nutmeg Twisters performing “Edge of Glory”
Matt Landry-McWilliams & Lea Nummelin performing “Empty Chairs At Empty Tables”
Riley Hodson performing “Quirky”
Grace Beatty, Katie Hooker, Caitlyn, Lauren & Megan Cunneen performing “Irish Step Sisters”
Kyle Landry-McWilliams performing “Board Breaking Demonstration”
Grace Newman performing “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful”
Jamie Holcolm performing “Stupid”
Anika Deshpande performing “My Heart Belongs to Daddy”
Special Appearance: 2011 Winner Cadence Richmond performing “Feeling Good”