Volume 12 Week 5

Saturday, Nov. 26


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(Posted 6:30 p.m., Nov. 26)
Gloucester Music Club kicks off new season with eclectic program
By Fred Sherwin
Orleans Online

Some of the performers in the first Gloucester Music Club concert of the season pose for a group photo including Emily and Alexander Hou (front), Aja Penny (top right) and Jillian Kimbell (top centre). Fred Sherwin/Photo

The Gloucester Music Club kicked off ts 2011-2012 concert series at the Orléans United Church on Friday with an evening of piano recitals by 26 talented young musicians ranging in age from seven to 22.

As far as Gloucester Music Club recitals go, the program was one of the most eclectic I can remember. Where else can you hear "Old MacDonald Had A Farm" and Barry Gordie's "Shop Around" on the same program as Chopin's "Nocturne In C#" or "Air In D" by Hayden?

The Gloucester Music Club is a musical co-operative formed by members of the Gloucester Music Teachers Association to give youing musicians an opportunity to perform in front of an audience.

The musicians who performed Friday night have begun the process of preparing for their Royal Academy of Music exams which are traditionally held in in the spring. Some have been practicing since July, while others only selected their music in September. The recital was their first opportunity to perform their pieces in front of an audience.

For some it showed. Most made the odd minor error, but a few shone including 10-year-old Emily Hou, whose recital of the fast-paced "Presto" by Italian composer Giovanni Pescetti, provided the first highlight of the evening.

The Grade 5 Maple Ridge Elementary School student selected her music during the summer and has been practicing one to two hours every day. It clearly showed in her recital.

Not to be outdone by his older sibling, six-year-old Alexander Hou played with a power beyond his years during his recital of "Burlesque in G".

Other highlights in the first half of the program included Amy Li's rendition of "Nocturne" by the German composer Heinrich Hofmann, Heather Hoerdt's recital of "Where Go The Boats" by Chee-Hwa Tan, and Danielle Xie's performance of Kulau's "Sonatina Op 20 No 11".

Catherine Gallagher's rendition of Chopin's "Noctunre in C#" was also high on the list. The 15-year-old played with a musicality beyond her years.'

There were two performances, however, that stood out from the rest. The first was by 12-year-old Jillian Kimbell whose beautiful, but all too short, interpretation of "Barcarolle" by Duke left me wanting to hear more, and 22-year-old Amieke Walker's rendition of "Notturno" by the 19th century Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, was for the most part, impeccable.

The next set of concerts in the Gloucester Music Club series will be held on Feb. 10 and 11. Tickets are just $5 per person of $10 per family. The program is always entertaining and the performances will leave you spellbound.

For more information about the Gloucester Music Club visit www.gloucestermusicclub.ca.

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

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