On Tuesday, April 9, Byron-Bergen students in grades three through seven gathered for a surprise assembly at the Jr./Sr. High School. They were treated to a special performance and conversation with Rochester-based electro hip-hop violinist Svet Radoslavof, or Svet, as he is known professionally, demonstrated his considerable talents on his electric violin, shared some of his experiences including his performance on "America’s Got Talent," answered student questions, and gave out lots of high fives.
As the assembly commenced, Beethoven’s "Fur Elise" filled the room. Then, from behind the curtain, Svet emerged and performed a modern interpretation of the iconic piece. Next, he performed a medley of pop rock hits during which he jumped off the stage and danced through the audience to cheers and applause. After this performance, Svet shared his story with the students emphasizing the importance of education and hard work.
“You have to go to school,” said Svet, who chose to skip his initial opportunity to appear on "America’s Got Talent" to take a final exam. “Study hard because, one day, you guys are going to succeed. You guys are the leaders of tomorrow so school is the most important thing.”
Svet was not the only one performing on the stage that day. He was invited to be a judge along with Elementary Music teachers Bob Lancia and Karen Tischer in a Byron-Bergen’s Got Talent skit. Hosted by sixth-grade teacher Megan Wahl, several faculty members took to the stage to demonstrate their talents. Christopher Chapman, Lara Ezard, Taylor Haupt, Heather Painting, Ken Rogoyski, and Heather Young delivered comedic talent routines before making way for two very talented students. Genevieve and Solomon Smith performed a contemporary dance to Keala Settle’s "This is Me" from "The Greatest Showman" to uproarious applause from their peers.
For a finale, Svet performed an original composition accompanied by a group of Byron-Bergen faculty commonly referred to as the Byron-Bergen House Band or The Hives. The Hives consists of Christopher Chapman, Bob Lancia, and Karen Tischer with a special guest appearance from Jr./Sr. High School Band teacher Kevin Bleiler.
“The assembly generated lots of enthusiasm,” said Byron-Bergen Jr./Sr. High Assistant Principal Scott Bradley. “Svet is very engaging and delivered a good message to our students.”
“It was an amazing experience for everyone,” said Elementary Assistant Principal Betsy Brown. “I want to thank fourth-grade teacher Alyson Tardy for taking the initiative to reach out and invite Svet to share his music and story with our students. I’m so glad she did!”
Svet is a native of Bulgaria but immigrated to Rochester with his family at the age of 11. He began playing violin at 3 and continued his studies at the Eastman School of Music. He went on to study Economics at the University of Rochester.