The official Student News Site of Dublin High School.

The Dublin Shield

The official Student News Site of Dublin High School.

The Dublin Shield

The official Student News Site of Dublin High School.

The Dublin Shield

Golden Gael: Seniors Take On Spectacle

In+the+Performing+Arts+Center%2C+the+audience+waits+for+Golden+Gael+to+begin.+
Ashley Wheeler
In the Performing Arts Center, the audience waits for Golden Gael to begin.

On Wednesday, March 13th, twelve seniors took to the Dublin High stage to compete for the title of “Golden Gael” before a crowd of students, teachers, and faculty judges. The result? A night of musical performances, dance numbers, and community-building fun.

At its core, this year’s Golden Gael provided the audience a glimpse of select seniors’ interests and unique abilities. Part-senior pageant, part-talent show, much of the night’s excitement lay in seeing what talents each contestant would showcase within their main acts, performed individually and in pairs. Indeed, these larger-than-life performances did not disappoint, with many contestants leaning into a heightened, self-aware theatricality. Take Charlie Reyes and Charlie Peachey, for example, who staged a musical number recreating sequences from the hit movie Wonka, complete with an on-stage wedding and an ensemble kickline. (Reyes played the titular character, while Peachey played Wonka’s fourteen year old sidekick Noodle.) Or Jeremy Sevilla, who turned his TED Talk on “glowing up” into a Bruno Mars cover session, heading into the audience guitar-in-hand while trailed by leadership students tossing flower petals. Performances like these represented the best of Gen Z’s meta-ironic humor, weaving talent and thought into winking comedy, with the contestants always in on the joke. Throughout the house, the audience’s laughs were only matched by their genuine admiration.

Yet beyond these self-contained acts, the group performances, in which all contestants took part, made for some of the night’s most electric moments. Whether they were dancing energetically or strutting onstage in formal wear, the contestants’ collective confidence and the audience’s excitement created a larger sense of community. This energy was not only a testament to the hard work of the contestants and DubLead, but to the bond of the broader Dublin High population and, in particular, the senior class, who began high school in quarantine and are graduating as a unified, self-assured family. 

The show wasn’t just entertaining, either—Golden Gael incorporated philanthropy into its fun. From March 4th to the 8th, each of this year’s contestants were tasked with collecting as many hygiene products as possible to give back to the community. This, too, became a friendly competition; at the end of the night, Siofra Donnely was named “Giving Gael” for collecting the most donations. As for who won the entire pageant: Cooper Symes was named runner-up, and Lila Siale was crowned 2024’s official “Golden Gael”.

About the Contributor
Brian Guan, Quarterly Columnist
Brian Guan is a junior and the Entertainment section editor for the Shield! He is passionate about writing and creative expression, having received recognition from YoungArts, Scholastic Art and Writing, the Blank Theatre, and more. When he's not writing or frantically promoting auditions for the drama department, Brian can be found discussing movies, FaceTiming his friends, or listening to Phoebe Bridgers.