On March 25, 2021, Pitt’s Division of Student Affairs and Resident Student Association (RSA) hosted the fifth annual Pitt’s Got Talent showcase.
The virtual variety show, which usually takes place at William Pitt Union, pitted talented students from participating residence halls against one another to determine a judge’s favorite and a fan favorite. This year’s judges were Kayla Dunn, an assistant director in the Office of Residence Life, Harshitha Ramanan, Student Government Board president-elect, and Danielle Obise-Orlu, current president of the RSA.
Entrants from 12 residences, including the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg sang, painted and played instruments in a competition that lasted just over an hour.
Michael Freaney, a sophomore pianist and composer residing in Panther Hall, said he was happy to represent his peers. “I think that especially during the pandemic, everyone has had their own way of staying occupied, staying sane. Mine was writing music, so I think to represent Panther-Irvis with my music is to represent how all of us are getting through this pandemic.” (Listen to more of his music on Spotify.)
Although the competition was intense, the judges did select a winning act: first-year students Naomi Brotman and Austin Ferraioli from Tower C. They performed as a duo, with Ferraioli on guitar and Brotman singing.
Following the livestream show, viewers answered a poll to determine the fan favorite: singer Sean Whitney and pianist Jason Kuehnle, neighbors in Nordenberg Hall. The friends said they bonded in their residence hall not only over their love of music, but also their shared engineering major.
Watch the whole show in the video embedded above, or visit Students Affairs’ website to meet all the judges and acts.
This story was written by Kendal Johnson, a student reporter for Pittwire.