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Davis, California

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Davis’ got no talent

The curtains have come down for the second annual Davis’ Got Talent. The talent competition was scheduled for Feb. 26 at the Veterans Memorial Theatre. Auditions were supposed to be held on Tuesday, but a shortage of talent forced the city to cancel the event.

“We just didn’t get enough participants,” said Christine Rivard, community services program coordinator for the city of Davis. “We were looking for at least 20 participants. We got about half of that.”

The first Davis’ Got Talent occurred in late March of last year. Twenty-five groups auditioned for last year’s competition.

Talents ranged from a five-year-old singer to an 85-year-old tap dancer, Rivard said.

“There was a great mix of groups,” Rivard said. “There was a rock band and a jazz band, a lot of singers and dancers.”

Of those who auditioned, only 12 were able to go on to compete at the final performance. The grand prize was $200. This year, the winning performance would have also had a chance to participate at the Fourth of July celebration.

The winners of last year’s event were a singer and an accompanist from Vacaville. “From the feedback of last year’s event, Davis residents wanted [the talent groups] to remain local,” Rivard said.

However, because there were not as many people who wanted to audition this year, the city may open the competition to non-residents next year, Rivard said.

One group that Rivard looks forward to seeing next year is UC Davis students.

“Not many college students have come out,” Rivard said. “That would be pretty neat to have them come out and perform for our events.”

Davis’ Got Talent was promoted through VMT listservs and co-sponsors throughout the city. Fliers were also handed out at schools and the Davis Farmers Market.

Nonetheless, there were very little direct advertisements to student groups on campus.

“I’ve never heard of Davis’ Got Talent,” said Liane Tongol, senior neurobiology, physiology and behavior major. Tongol is a choreographer for Tinikling, a dance group on campus that won Davis Dance Revolution last year.

Tongol said if she had known about the competition, she would have auditioned.

“I know the city of Davis sometimes isn’t aware of all the happenings on campus and the different cultural talents we have,” Tongol said. “And people here don’t usually think of the community outside of the school. It would have been a good way to bridge together the community and the city.”

According to Rivard, part of the problem is not knowing who to contact on campus.

“We’re kind of new at this promotion thing,” Rivard said. “We just need to establish contacts for groups in the university for our events.”

The same issue crops up on the university’s side of the issue.

“There’s not too many problems with working together with the city,” said Tim Zamanigan, junior English major and assistant director of the Entertainment Council. “It’s a matter of contacting [the city]. We don’t really know who to contact.”

Entertainment Council puts on “Music on the Green,” an outdoor concert at Central Park, in conjunction with the city. For other events, such as shows and performances outside of campus, Entertainment Council is unsure of who to contact in the city.

“We don’t really often work with the city of Davis, but we’re talking about incorporating it this year,” Zamanigan said. “Representatives have shown interest in the past, but logistically, we haven’t had a chance to do that yet.”

Meanwhile, the city will continue to move forward with other planned events. A dance competition will be held in May and auditions will be held the week after Picnic Day.

“It would be awesome to have student groups come out,” Rivard said. “We want to provide a great program and promote the diversity we have in the city.”

SARAHNI PECSON can be reached at city@theaggie.org.


  1. It’s sucks that there’s not more connectivity with the UCD campus and the City of Davis. It sometimes feels like they’re totally separate entities.


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