TREVOR MURRAY, a first-time participant in the Third Annual Poetry Out Loud competition held at the Kingswood Arts Center on Feb. 21, won the top prize in a field of 16 competitors. His win advances him to the regional competition scheduled for March 21 at the Rochester Opera House. (Elissa Paquette photo) (click for larger version)
March 01, 2012WOLFEBORO — Family, friends and English teachers past and present listened intently in the darkened Kingswood Arts Center on Tuesday, Feb. 21, as one student after another – 16 in all – entered the spotlight and stepped up to the microphone to recite poetry of the masters.
Like tightrope walkers without a net, each student performed without notes. English teacher Aaron Gauthier was ready to offer a quiet prompt when words became elusive, but it was clear that the performers were well prepared.
After the first round, the six Kingswood Regional High students with the highest scores were allowed to return for the final round to recite a second poem: Diana Aponte, Harry Corthell, Miranda Dean, Abe DeMaio, Brittany Manock, and Trevor Murray.
The final tabulation of the judging panel's scores by Francis Marchand's AP statistics students revealed Trevor Murray, no stranger to the Kingswood stage, as the winner for his recitation of Allan Ginsberg's "A Supermarket in California," a performance teacher Gordon Lang dubbed "tone perfect--way better than Ginsberg himself."
Diana Aponte, a seasoned actress in her third year of competition, won the position of runner-up for her reading of former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser's "Abandoned Farmhouse."
Participants, many reciting before a large audience for the first time, also included Josh Beaudet ,Victoria Cote, Noah DeMaio, Victoria Goldberg, Devon Mix, Brittney Newlin, Jay Nicewicz, Gabrielle Niconchuk, , Mercedes Perkins and Tiffany West.
The Wolfeboro Rotary, generous sponsors of the event, awarded a $700 scholarship to Murray and a $300 scholarship to Aponte. Both must now prepare a third poem for the next round of competition, the Regional Poetry Out Loud Finals on March 21 at 7 p.m. at the Rochester Opera House. Aponte will serve as an alternate. The winner of that competition advances to State Finals.
Competitors advance from a field of an estimated 10,000 New Hampshire high school students from almost 40 high schools.
The Rev. Randy Dales and Karen Baker, owner of The Country Bookseller, performed judging duties for the third year in a row. New judges this year included Mal Cook of the Wolfeboro Rotary Club, Cathy Allyn, assistant librarian of the New Durham Public Library, and musician Beverly Wood. English teacher Jean Muir served as accuracy judge.
Local sponsors, in addition to the Wolfeboro Rotary and The Country Bookseller, included The Wolfeboro Inn & Wolfe's Tavern, Boyle's Family Market, McDonald's of West Ossipee, Louis' Pizza and Linda's Flowers.
The event is produced also with support from the NH State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation.
Students Michael DiBurro, Mike Marzerka and Ben Cashman provided musical entertainment between recitations; Michael Allfrey and Autumn-Lee Bickford served as very able emcees, and Benjamin French and Amber Carpenter each recited a poem to assist the judges before the official competition.
National Honor Society members Nils Babcock, Brittany Baxter, Kelly Wood, Crystal Follensbee and Tyler Evans served as ushers.