The semifinals of the eighth annual William Floyd Middle School singing contest were held Friday, with about 30 sixth- to eighth-graders performing to a cheering crowd in the school’s auditorium.

Sixth-grader Max Heitman, 11, of Shirley, sang “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. He’s in the school’s chorus and also plays flute in the band.

“I’m excited for him,” said his father, Joel, before the show, noting that Max used to be one of the shiest students in school.

“For a kid who used to have stage fright, it’s pretty impressive.”

William Floyd Middle School Principal Carolyn Schick said Music Idol has provided students “with the opportunity to show off their vocal talents and experience performing in front of a live audience. This event enables us to support our students in partnership with our entire community.”

Sixth-grader Samantha Pantazis, 11, of Mastic, has been taking dance lessons since she was 2 years old, so she knows what it’s like to be on stage. But mom Jennifer Pantazis, holding a huge bouquet of congratulatory flowers, said it was the first Samatha would be singing solo in front of an audience. She sang “Sweet But Psycho” by Ava Max. 

“She’s very excited.”

All of the performers will go on to the finals on March 29.