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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette





(Posted 6:30 p.m., Nov. 15)

Gloucester Music Club kicks off new concert season with a bang
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Charles Li, 14, performs Sonatina K 283 I by Mozart during the Gloucester Music Club's inaugural concert of the season on Friday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The Gloucester Music Club kicked off the 2010-2011 concert season with one of the most talented line-ups in recent memory on Friday.

From the very first performance by Alison Wu to the very last by Felix Lu, the recitals were as close to flawless as one could expect so early in the season.

While most of the performances were on piano there was one cello recital by young Nicolas Cooper and two vocal performances, including a magnificent rendition of Giulio Caccini's Ava Maria by German exchange student Levke Kluge.

The Grade 12 student is visiting Ottawa from a small town in northern Germany near the Danish border. She is currently enrolled in the music program at Canterbury High School until the end of December.

While Caccini's Ava Maria is nowhere near as well known or as popular as Schubert's more recognizable version, it is equally as spell-binding when song by someone with the range and control of the upper registry as Miss Kluge.

Simply put, it was one of the best performances of a classical piece that I have heard while covering the Gloucester Music Club concert series for the past six years.

It set the bar extremely high for the remaining performers Friday night and all did their best to meet it and in two cases exceed it.

Meghan Lau had the unenviable task of following Kluge in the program and she did herself proud with her recital of Gurlitt's Sonatina in a- III.

The remaining three performances were all stronger that the last starting with Charles Lee's rendition of Sonatina K 283 I by Mozart.

The 14-year-old Gloucester High School student started playing the piano three years ago to keep up with his younger sister who just happened to follow him in the program.

Amy Li's performance of Clementi's Sonatina in C+, was as close to perfection as you will ever hear, especially from a 10-year-old. It's little wonder that she's won three Kiwanis Music Festival scholarships and will no doubt earn a fourth next spring.

As sibling rivalries go, Charles and Amy get along incredibly well especially when it comes to practicing. The pair have to share the family's upright piano which could lead to the occasional tiff, but seldom does thanks to Charles other musical love, the baritone saxophone, which he plays in the Gloucester High School band.

Amy's performance was a tough act to follow, but Catherine Gallagher did it with aplomb and a distinct change of pace with her selection, "Milonga del angel" by Argentine tango composer Astor Piazolla.

Once again, the performance was flawless. Gallagher's emotional interpretation of the moody composition was impeccable and perfectly set the stage for the final performance of the evening by Gloucester Music Club veteran Felix Lu, who brought the concert to a perfect conclusion with his recitation of Chopin's Waltz in E-.

If Friday's concert is any indication of the quality of this season's Gloucester Music Club series, it should be the best ever. The talent level is simply off the chart and speaks volumes of this community's up and coming musical talent.

Among the performers not already mentioned were Bethany Lau, Lauren Kingsbury, John Cosenza, Evan Klein, Aja Penny, Alexander Cosenza, Angela Mackenzie and Julia Rougeau,

The next instalment of the Gloucester Music Club series will take place on Feb. 4 and 5 at Orleans United Church.

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



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