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Press Release



February 9, 2015

Talent show returns to Cowley


Creative ClawsAfter an absence of three years, Cowley College’s Creative Claws hosted a talent show for the seventh time. The event took place Thursday, Feb. 5 in the Robert Brown Theatre. It was an evening of true talent with 14 acts and 29 individuals from Cowley entertaining the audience.

The show brought 168 people to the theatre, and they were certainly entertained.  Several people in the audience were overheard trying to pick their favorite act, but they found that to be more difficult than they’d expected.

Host for the event was Marlys Cervantes, Humanities department chair. Cervantes said of this year’s participants, “I was overwhelmed from the first screening of acts. There were students I’ve had in class, and I had no idea they were so talented. At the show, shy performers blossomed in front of an appreciative audience. It was a beautiful moment for each of them.”

After welcoming the crowd to the show, emcees Ryan Doom, Humanities Instructor and sponsor of Mile Marker Review, and Ian Brannan, co-president of Creative Claws, took over introducing the acts and entertaining the crowd themselves. Co-president Alecia Henson coordinated ticket sales and ushering.

At the end of the night, Henson smiled as she said, “That was wonderful. I don’t think I could ever get onstage and perform like that. They were amazing.” Brannan and Henson will both graduate in May after serving the club in this capacity and making sure the group stays active. They both expressed that new members are always welcome, and all a person needs to do is show up at a meeting or talk to them or Cervantes.

Vice President of Academic Affairs, Slade Griffiths, a strong supporter of the arts, expressed, “There were so many unique voices and acts on the stage tonight, and I’m very pleased I was able to attend. This was a nice way to end the day.”

Judges this year included Piper Leigh, who performs with her band in various venues as Piper Leigh and the Smokin’ Section, a blues-rock group. She is a Cowley alumni, and she says she’s always happy to get back to Cowley and see the activities, students and, of course, talent on our stage.

Also judging was Dave Guinn, the current president of Ponca Playhouse’s board of directors. Besides serving as president, Guinn acts, directs, excels in all areas of tech and crew, and still runs their marketing program. All that and he still has time to operate his store, Hall of Heroes, a comic book/paintball/card game store in downtown Ponca City.

The judge who wasn’t revealed until show time was Gavin Brown. Brown started his college career at Cowley and played basketball here while earning his Associates in Business Administration. He transferred on to Emporia State on a basketball scholarship and completed his degree in Economics. As a poetry writer himself, Brown says he was honored to be a judge at the event. He is back at Cowley now as Dorm Manager for Central Dorm and the Intramural Coordinator.

Special entertainment for the evening was Piper Leigh, a dynamic performer who commands the stage. She played several songs and was a hit—grand champion of the event and a great example for aspiring performers who are in the process of building their careers.

Winners were announced at the end of the evening, and prizes were awarded. Prior to announcing the winners, Cervantes said this was the first year there have been as many original works as the other categories.  “It’s simply an expression of the growing talent found at Cowley due to the unique and quality programs we have to offer,” she told the crowd.


  • First Place—Temporal Mechanics Union
  • Second Place—Holly Brizendine and Connie Donatelli


  • First Place—Caleb Sherron
  • Second Place—Maddie Hale


  • First Place—Jasmine Rasul
  • Second Place—Poets Stephanie Bloyer, Dylan Gregor, Lucia Morales and Kaylee Walker