George Mason High School seniors Gus Constance and Sarah Miller were named Mr. and Ms. Mason at the 15th annual Mr. & Ms. Mason Contest held to benefit the American Heart Association. With hundreds in the audience, the evening was a delightful mix of talent, humor and irreverence. The contestants were judged in four different categories: a prepared bio read while the student was presented to the audience, a talent portion and, for the finalists, an evening wear competition and a question-answer session.
The emcees for the evening were two past winners of the competition, Mason science teacher Will Stewart and recent grad Matt Earman. They introduced the contestants, who were selected by faculty nomination, and read their biographies. Next was the talent portion of the evening starting, as tradition has it, with the freshmen and working up through the seniors.
Freshman Will Langan set a very high bar with his spoof of the J-Line Dancers from a Mason assembly earlier in the year. Langan’s “W-Line Dancers” were a multi-talented group that had the audience cheering. Next up freshman Grace Armstrong sang original lyrics in a parody of a popular tune with a Valentines theme. Her humor, props and good voice brought much applause.
Sophomore Carter Fendley teamed up with senior James Pala in a lip-syncing contest that was spot on for its “singing” and enthusiastically executed choreography. It was hard to determine if either contestant had an edge by the crowd’s wild response. Andrea Dilao represented the sophomore girls and started off a string of technology-based presentations by having Coach Stew “run” down the hall to get her and her large entourage who then wound up on stage singing and dancing to “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” The sassy mix of pre-recorded and live action was very well received.
Junior Clara Frost, with her classmates Josh Allen and Zach Welch in supporting roles, presented a seamless interpretation of “Single Ladies” by Beyonce in another bow to Valentines Day that had the crowd keeping the beat and singing along.
The Senior class’s multiple entries were a mix of collaborative efforts and individual talents. Gus Constance and Emma Graig worked together to recall a time from their days at Mason and solve an old mystery. Many faculty had cameo video appearances in the dramatic and humorous tale. Beth Cashin and her supporting swimmers practiced the synchronized swim team routine they performed at the Region AA swim meet on Saturday.
Katie Cheney had multiple questions for the “people in the halls of GM.” She worked the angle of the eliciting different view points of students and faculty for laughs, while using the technology of the school’s programmable logic devices. Arijeet Sensharma sang his way through a school day with original lyrics to famous tunes. His humorous medley touched on several aspects of life at Mason, including a Lion King’s theme highlighting all kings and presidents studied in history and his “76 Trombones” that perfectly captured pep band at football games.
Last up for the evening was Sarah Miller as an ABC news journalist doing a piece on college admissions. In her video piece, she went into the future, interviewing the first groups of students applying to and heading off to “Moon University.” Subtle humor in the video’s subtitles went along with funny dialog, which was capped by a visit to Moon University students.
Student and faculty judges had a short break to pick their finalists, who then paraded on stage in their evening wear and answered randomly-selected questions. When all the points were tallied Miller and Constance took the 2015 crowns. Along with the crowns, they received flowers and gift bags from event sponsors Native Foods Cafe and Brits on Broad, and will appear in this year’s Memorial Day parade. Almost $1000 was raised for the American Heart Association, nearly double last year’s total.