Mariah Gaines (Sophomore)
Senior Dominick Asamoah, known by most as just Dom, recently competed in a talent hunt put on by the Iota Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. along with 7 other Obama students. Ms. Sharif-Lucas, who is well connected within the Greek organizations of the area, heard about the talent hunt and shared the opportunity with Obama students. Obama had 8 students in the competition, more than any other school.
In this competition, participants compete at a local level first, then, if they place high enough, they move to the district level. Dom displayed his talent on the drum set and placed first at the local level in the instrumental solo category with an original composition. He then went on to represent the district in which he won, district 2, in the next level of the competition that was comprised of winners from 5 different states. Dom traveled all the way to New Jersey to compete and placed second in his category, again with an original composition.
While speaking with Ms. Sharif-Lucas, she said she knew Dom would be successful because of his “sheer talent.” Ms. Sharif-Lucas got to know Dom in his early years of high school in the classroom as well as throughout Dom’s time as a member of the school marching band. Ms. Sharif says she is extremely proud of Dom and all the hard work he’s put into his music career in the past 4 years. Dom called Ms. Sharif his “#1 cheerleader” and said she played a big role in his journey to mature as a musician. He said, “She always held me to a very high standard. When I wouldn’t meet them she would get on me because she knew I could do better and she didn’t want me to waste my talent.”
Dom said the talent hunt was an exciting experience. There were “a lot of adrenaline rushes going on.” Despite the crazy drivers in New Jersey, getting to travel there to play music was an amazing experience. When asked about his process of creating compositions he said “for competitions I usually target my audience, and for my own compositions it’s usually [based] on how I feel.” He said he knew there were going to be a lot of people of older generations at the competition so he took inspiration from people like the Jackson 5, Earth Wind and Fire, and Bob Marley and then reworked it to make it a little more current.
Dom’s accomplishments in the competition are well deserving of praise. Dom will be attending IUP for college next year and when asked if he planned to continue doing music while there he said “Absolutely!”