freshman Sam Illum competes in Olathe’s Got Talent

Peyton Moore, Staff Writer

From the early ages of freshman Sam Illum’s life, there has always been a drive and intent to perform and showcase his various talents. Through doing so, Sam has cut out numerous opportunities for himself, including Olathe’s Got Talent: a local talent competition for people around the community.

Sam sang his way through the preliminary rounds, meaning that he, along with three other finalists, would compete for a grand prize of $1,000 in college scholarships.

Junior Danielle Illum, Sam’s older sister, said he began his singing and performing career at a young age.

“[At] first I thought it was just really annoying,” Danielle said. “But once he started actually performing and once he got bigger roles in plays and musicals, he was actually good at what he did.”

Despite her feelings toward Sam’s singing, Danielle’s opinions on Sam’s personality are virtually the same.

“[He’s] nicest sibling I could ever ask for,” Danielle said.

She said she loves how nice and generous Sam is. Sam has performed in the popular musical “Newsies” as Jack Kelly, along with many other plays and musicals in which have progressed him to the place he is today.

Through performing, Sam is capable of much more than receiving compliments and winning awards. He said he enjoys being able to meet new people and build new relationships with others who enjoy the same things he does.

“I like to make people  feel happy, feel sad,” Sam said. “I love the opportunity to change people’s views on things.”

Through Sam’s years of singing, he has met many influential people who have helped him enhance and better his talent. Sam said choir teacher Taryn Gervais has left a significant footprint on Sam’s impression of singing and performing.  Within Sam’s first semester at Southwest, he was enrolled in Chorale, where his opportunity to work with Gervais presented itself. As any aspiring performer, continuous improvements are crucial to their individual goals. Gervais’s time working with Sam consisted of just that.

“I think his musicianship has progressed to where he is better able to read music,” Gervais said. “Also, his confidence has grown quite a bit.”

Although enhancing Sam’s skills was the objective, Gervais’s and Sam’s time together went beyond scripts and music sheets.

“He’s a freshman with a bunch of potential,” Gervais said. “He has a positive energy and is really just a delight to have in class.”

Even though Sam didn’t win the grand prize at the Olathe’s Got Talent show, Sam said he is thankful to have the opportunity to have made it as far as he did in the competition and to have an enjoyable time as well.

“I had a crazy good experience,” Sam said.