Lasso Qualifies for Poetry Out Loud State Final
Nebraska Christian freshman Juan Lasso has qualified for the State Poetry Out Loud competition on Saturday, March 8, 2014, in Lincoln, NE, at the Sheldon Art gallery. Lasso is the first NC student to earn a trip to state after performing “Concord Hymn” and “The Craftsman” at the Regional Contest in Kearney on February 16.
The poems Lasso chose for the competition are ones he said he “could actually follow and ones anyone can understand.” Furthermore, the Lord has allowed Juan to capitalize on the gifts He has given the freshman in other venues this year, specifically allowing him to garner Best Actor awards at the Goldenrod and District One-act Contests in the fall and earning Academic All-state honors in drama.
Beyond the awards, it is obvious to anyone who watched Lasso perform at the school contest in January that he has worked diligently to honor the prodigious talent he possesses; ironically, though, he wasn’t truly sold on reciting poetry when it was first assigned in drama class last semester. Nonetheless, following his recent success, the freshman now enjoys memorizing and performing poetry more than when he first started, and he is totally looking forward to going to state. After all the preparation he has invested the past few months, Lasso thinks that state will definitely be worth it.
Lasso said that his favorite part about Poetry Out Loud so far is “the rapid progression in moving from the school contest to regionals, and now to state.” The entire competition takes place between November and March each year and is sponsored by the Nebraska Arts Council. Ultimately, the reward for his efforts is in the satisfaction of doing his best. “The only one who can truly inspire one is oneself,” Lasso replied when asked about his motivation to do well. Another motivation is the possibility of a $20,000 college scholarship should he qualify for the National Competition in Washington, D.C., in March and place among the leaders there.
“There were so many gifted students at both the school and regional contests,” said NC drama teacher Jay Garrison. “And Juan matches up with the very best I have seen over the past five years doing this competition. We are very proud of what he has accomplished so far, and it will be enjoyable watching him in Lincoln on March 8.”