Volume 10 Week 10

Sunday, Dec. 14


Updated March 2

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette





(Posted 7 p.m., Feb. 23)

First Class Honours recital brings together exceptionally talented students
By Fred Sherwin
Orleans Online

Mimi Lam received the GMTA's Special Teachers Award from Kathleen Fong during the Gloucester Music Teachers Association's First Class Honours Recital on Sunday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Some of the top music students in the city demonstrated their magnificent talents on Sunday during the Gloucester Music Teachers Association's First Class Honours recital and awards ceremony at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Orleans.

The annual recital brings together those students who scored 80 per cent or better in either their Royal Conservatory of Music exam or the Kiwanis Music Festival adjudication. As well, each student who received the top mark at their grade level received a Performance Trophy. Theory Award certificates and trophies were also handed out as well as a Special Teachers Award which this year went to Mimi Lam.

The recital itself was kicked off by guest pianist Kevin Zhao whose wonderful performance of Beethoven's "Sonata in F Major, Opus 78" set the mood for what was to come.

The rest of the program featured a number of outstanding performances all played without the benefit of a song sheet. Thirteen-year-old Catherine Gallagher stood out among the earlier performers with her rendition of James Hook's "Sonatina in D Major, Opus 12, No. 1 (1st mvt.)" which required a delicate touch and intricate finger movement which she managed to pull off flawlessly.

Another early highlight was provided by Felix Lu, 13, who played Chopin's "Waltz Opus 69, No. 1". Nathlie Du's performance of Thompson's "Three Blind Mice" was also a treat, as was nine-year-old Amy Li's performance of Christopher Norton's "Scamp" which drew one of the loudest ovations of the evening.

Danielle Lemieux from Sarsfield also drew a loud round of applause for her vocal performance of the American folk song "Homeward Bound" which has become the focal point of a musical tribute to American soldiers serving in Iraq that's been circulating on You Tube.

Lemieux plans to perform the song in competition at this year's Kiwanis Music Festival and judging by her performance on Sunday she should do extremely well.

While many of the young musicians played their pieces with a great deal of skill, Vanessa Cojbasic, Rebecca Kalinger and Edmund Chung took the experience to the next level by actually "performing" their pieces.

Cojbasic, 17, showed why she received the top GMTA mark on the Grade 10 RCM exam with her moody, melodic performance of Chopin's "Nocturne, Opus 72, No. 1".

The Gloucester High School student has applied to go to Queen's University next year where she plans to major in music. She hopes to one day become a music teacher and give back to her students what her teachers provided her.

At 18, Edmond Chung recently completed his RCM journey by receiving an
88 per cent on his ARCT exam. During his exquisite performance of Rachmaninoff's "Prelude in D Major", the music seemed to just flow through him which was remarkable considering he hadn't performed in nearly a year.

Having nearly completed the International Baccalaureate program at Colonel By Secondary School, Chung plans to go to McGill University next year to study bio-chemistry. Unfortunately, his playing will have to take a backseat to his studies although he plans to play the odd concert when invited.

The honour of closing out the program was given to 15-year-old Rebecca Kalinger who was her impeccable self in performing "Rondo on Argentine Children's Folk Tune" by Alberto Ginastera, despite the fact that she had a fever of close to 101-degrees. The Convent Glen North resident scored 90 per cent on her Grade 9 exam.

The program was brought to a close with the presentation of the Special Teachers Award to Mimi Lam. During the presentation GMTA member Kathleen Fong also paid tribute to Lam's former teacher Elaine Kruse who passed away suddenly last year.

"If Elaine was still with us today, she would be spreading words of praise for Mimi as well. Each teacher she has played for has been touched by her determination to succeed," said Fong. "She has always strived for excellence in musical expression."

Among the other Performance Trophy recipients were all three members of the Deluca family, Andriano (Grade 1), Selina (Grade 7) and Dorian (Grade 8), as well as Charles Li (Grade 3) and Eric Kingsbury (Grade 1).

Wendy Wu earned a certificate for Preliminary Rudiments, Gail Auger received a certificate for Grade 1 Rudiments and Maria Chung received a certificate for Garde 2 Rudiments.

Marie-Luc Seguin Lemay received the trophy for Grade 5 Theory and Thomas Henbst received one as well for for Grade 3 Theory.

A number of the Gloucester Music Teacher Association students will be performing at the upcoming Gloucester Music Club recitals on March 27 and 29 at the Orléans Client Service Centre theatre.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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