SPU's Big Night

The Homecoming Talent Show Never Disappoints

By Sophomore Alex Cross | Photos by Luke Rutan

Scott Nellessen bought a ukulele before freshman year, unaware that his future roommate, Tom Lippert, was making a similar investment. When they arrived at Seattle Pacific University and started unpacking, they realized something: SPU is really good at matching roommates.

"It was a strange coincidence, but one that turned out quite well," says Scott.

The two started writing music together that first day. One thing led to another, and it wasn't long before Scott and Tom decided to audition for SPU's Homecoming Talent Show along with 25 other students.

Nine acts were chosen and about 1,300 people came to this highly anticipated annual event.

On a stage built to hold as many as 16 performers, Scott and Tom stood with their petite instruments, and began to sing,
"I never wrote a love song, because I'm still single." The audience burst out laughing.

After playing another original song, the duo presented a medley of songs that "really exemplify the American heritage." Who knew "Party in the USA" translated so well to the ukulele?

"We love the ukulele. It's an instrument you can't take seriously," says Scott.

In addition to the uke pop of Scott and Tom, SPU's 2011 Talent Show saw five bands, rap, stage painting, and a pair of mimes.

Third place went to sophomore Chris Vander Haak for his stage painting, which bewildered and then amazed the audience. It kept me on the edge of my seat," says junior Alana Hardy.

Second place went to "Partners in Mime" Paul Adolphsen and Nate Corley. In a battle for the attention of the audience, the two built walls, climbed ladders, and threw grappling hooks so convincingly that it was easy to forget that the props didn't actually exist.

Scott and Tom's sense of humor and personality-filled songs earned them first place — an honor they can attribute to SPU's roommate matchers.

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