MIDLOTHIAN — The auditorium was filled with fans buzzing in anticipation to watch some of most talented youth in Ellis County take the stage for Midlothian’s Got Talent. The annual two-night event featured performers and artists from each of the 11 schools in the district and, not only is this talent show used for entertainment, it is also a fundraiser for senior scholarships at Midlothian High School.

“We started the talent show eight years ago with a total of 12 acts on one night,” event coordinator Laurie Schroeder says. “This year is our biggest show yet.”

In total, there were 52 talent acts over the two days and 50 art entries were showcased. Charlie McClung was the Master of Ceremonies for both shows, adding both humor and enthusiasm for the audience, and the students, as well.

The junior high performers presented their talents Friday night with vocal solos, duets, and trios, along with dance routines and a guitar instrumental. Performances from the Walnut Grove Middle School Wildcat Dancers and the Frank Seale Middle School Cub Dancers were featured in between acts. There was also a screening of “My Own Little World,” the first place video winner and a UIL Regional qualifying film.

Saturday night was jam packed with eager families and friends as the elementary students took center stage. There were several different acts, that included singing, dancing, instrumentals, gymnastics, and even a hula hoop solo. The high school program began after intermission with solos, duets, instrumentals, and dance routines presented from students at both Midlothian High School and Midlothian Heritage High School. Many seniors performed their final act for MGT on Saturday, making the night both emotional and bittersweet. Guest appearances from the “Man”therettes, Pantherette officers, and American Idol top-24 contestant, Trevor Douglas, added to the excitement of the night.

One notable performance was by Stephanie Schroeder, a senior at Midlothian High School. She performed her take on Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

“I’ve been doing music since I was about 4,” she said with a laugh after her performance.

Her arrangement of “Hallelujah” consisted of lowered colorful lights, dimly lit candles, and a strong vocal performance. When asked about her inspiration for arrangement, Schroeder said she wanted to differ from the original.

“Well, I was in Nashville recording my EP, and the producers were like ‘let’s do something cool with this song,’” she explained. “So we decided on doing a creepy style, and that’s how this version was born.”

Though Schroeder was the last act of the night, she ended up winning a first place trophy in the “Singing Solo” category.

According to Laurie Schroeder, a lot of work goes into organizing the talent show. Starting in November, she and the MHS choir department have a plethora of duties to fulfill, such as obtaining volunteers, securing guest performers and judges, ordering awards, getting the word out to the community, and so much more. Though overwhelming, the end result proved to be promising and well worth the task.

“The show exceeded our expectations by far,” she added.