Students whispered nervously to one another while waiting in the bleachers for their turn on stage.
Several hummed quietly to themselves, preparing for their upcoming performance. Another stepped up to the microphone to test out the acoustics of the gym, strumming briefly on his electric guitar while parents and friends streamed into the gym.
Others talked animatedly to family and friends, asking if their clothes, their hair, or their musical selection would be OK.
More than 100 students, and their friends and family, piled into the Indian Land Middle School gymnasium Thursday night for a showcase of talent from the school's students.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Herald
From the first note of the show's opening number, the "Star Spangled Banner," performed by Meghan Moore and Hannah McGinn, the audience was hooked.
For two hours, students from the middle school sang, danced, and played musical instruments to the delight of their friends and family. Song selections by singers Hannah Montana and Taylor Swift were among the favorites for the girls, who sang in groups and, sometimes, bravely took the stage solo.
Kristin Hinson played her guitar while belting out Swift's "Should've Said No." Hinson, an eighth grade student, just learned how to play the guitar six months ago from her father, Jimmy Hinson.
"She done great," Jimmy Hinson said. "We're really proud of her."
Hinson also took part in the show's final number, dancing with friends Moore and Kalyn Hamilton to Hannah Montana's "Hoedown Throwdown."
There were 20 performances during the show, including some surprises. The crowd went wild when Bridget Sampson performed Pat Benatar's "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" and Dean Little rocked the gymnasium with an Ozzy Osbourne tune.
The show was a showcase of talent, not a competition, so no awards were given. Proceeds from the evening's ticket sales benefit the chorus program, to help buy music and props needed for performances.
Principal David McDonald said he was surprised by the students' talent.
"I was shocked," McDonald said. "They were incredible."
This was the second talent show the school has held. Shonda Bradshaw, the chorus teacher at Indian Land Middle School, said she was proud of the courage the students showed by getting up in front of the audience and performing.
"They worked really hard and I'm really proud of them," Bradshaw said. "We have a lot of talent in our school and I'm glad they got the chance to showcase that tonight."