Students swarmed to Robsham Theater to watch their peers compete for a $300 prize in the 17th annual Bring It To The Heights talent show. Although most acts were of a musical nature, the night featured a wide range of Boston College students’ talents, including card tricks and yo-yo mastery.
The event, a collaboration between the Emerging Leader Program (ELP) and the Office of Student Involvement (OSI), took place on March 3 and provided an occasion for BC students to exhibit their talents and raise funds for a good cause.
Proceeds from the show, which was formerly known as Sing It To The Heights, will be donated to the Saint Columbkille Partnership School. The K-8 school in Brighton has offered opportunities for teacher training and educational research for the Lynch School of Education since 2018.
Stencia Bastien, MCAS ’23, who also won the competition in 2020, took home the top prize with her moving rendition of “Mirror” by Madison Ryann Ward.
Kat Waxstein, OSI’s assistant director for leadership development, offered opening remarks for the show and said that the night’s event marked the return of a BC tradition.
“Bring It to the Heights is a new take on a long-existing event held for the first time since the pandemic,” Waxstein said.
The talent show featured a host of emcees, including ELP members Brady James, MCAS ’25, and Madeleine McGrath, MCAS ’23. The panel of Jesuit judges was composed of Donald MacMillan, S.J., Sean Haggerty, S.J., and Damian Torres-Botello, S.J.
The Acoustics were first to perform with an a cappella mashup of Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” and Britney Spears’ “Toxic” that featured an exciting beatboxing breakdown.
Next up was Erin Pender, MCAS ’24, with a passionate performance of Adele’s “I’ll Be Waiting,” displaying her vocal control and command of the stage. Zachary Logan, CSOM ’24, showcased his playing card trickery as he engaged the audience with his sleight of hand and mind reading.
The musical talent continued with an original piece written and performed by Jack Doppke, MCAS ’25, on acoustic guitar. Qingyang Zhou, MCAS ’23, gave a graceful performance of “How Far I’ll Go” by Auli’i Cravalho from Disney’s Moana, delivering a powerful final note that rang through the theater.
The energy continued with the Bostonians’ mashup of “Bust your Windows” by Jazmine Sullivan and Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.” The a cappella group seemed to enjoy its own performance as the singers danced along to their powerful harmonies. Torres-Botello described the soloist’s voice as “delicious.”
Jennifer Murphy, MCAS ’24, also impressed the judges with her rendition of Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity.”
Bastien followed with her performance. Her passionate vocals and strong stage presence moved the crowd and judges into a fervor of applause and praise.
In a small break from the musical performances, but by no means from the talent, Ryan Kim, CSOM ’25, introduced as a “yo-yo maestro,” blew the audience away with his string skills as “L’ is Gone” by Musiq Soulchild played in the background. His yo-yo routine seemingly defied gravity.
Rounding out the night of talent and crowd-pleasing performances was Gianni Chiovetta, MCAS ’22, with his rendition of Jimmie Rodgers’ “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine.” His natural showmanship had audience members snapping along.
After a quick recap of the performances, voting began. While audience members nominated their top picks online, Waxstein reiterated the fundraising importance of the event.
Bastien took home first place and a $300 check for her performance that left the crowd stunned. The Bostonians took second place, and the Acoustics came in third.
After the final applause died down, Haggerty said in a conversation with The Heights that the event was evidence of the BC community coming together again after the competition was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After such a long time of not having things in person, to see the community coming together with this kind of talent and also to support such a good organization is something that’s really heartwarming and just wonderful,” Haggerty said.
Featured Image by Steve Mooney / Heights Editor