Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Feb. 23


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Bob Monette



(Posted 8:30 a.m., March 26)

Gloucester Music Club ends concert series on a high note
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Seven-year-old Alexandre Hou was among 45 young musicians who took part in the third instament of the Gloucester Music Club concert series on the weekend. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The Gloucester Music Club held its third and final set of recitals on the weekend with 45 young artists performing over two nights at the Orleans United Church.

Many of the performers used the opportunity to fine tune their repretoire for the upcoming Kiwainis Music Festival which will be held from April 10 to 28.

Catherine Gallagher kicked off Saturday night's proceedings with a lively rendition of "Golliwag's Cakewalk" by the French composer Claude Debussy. Gallagher is a Gloucester Music Club veteran, having performed a half dozen times.

Anthony Kulbelka turned in the surprise performance of the night with his recital of "Comptin d'un autre été L'aprés-midi" by the contemporary French composer Yann Tiersen. He played the piece with depth and emotion and a level of musicality that belied his years. Simply put he was amazing.

Ten-year-old Emily Hou had the tough job of following Kulbelka on stage and she was more than up for the challenge, as she delivered a flawless performance of "Romance" by Toronto composer Larysa Kuzmenko. The evening was off to a great start.

Other early highlights included Alice Yang's performance of Clementi's "Sonatina in F+" and Alexandre Cooper's recital of the first movement of Dvorac's "Four Romantic Pieces".

Seven-year-old Alexandre Hou also drew an enthusiastic round of applause for his rendition of "Menuet en Rondeau" by the seventeenth century French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau, as did sisters Lauran and Reta-Anne McKay who sang "Alone in the Universe" from the musical "Seusical" together despite Lauran having to perform with a terrible cold.

The best was definitely saved for last however, beginning with Cheng Zheng's performance of "Evening at the Village" by Bela Bartok. He was followed on stage by Kevin Yang who demonstrated a incredible combination of dexterity and musicality with his recital of Johann Sebastien Bach's "Sinfonia in E+".

The pentultimate performance of the evening was delivered by Amy Li, who was impressive during her two previous GMC appearances this season and was her confident, talented self during her recital of the Kuhlau's rather ambitious "Sonatina in C+".

The honour of bringing the recital to a close was bestowed upon Heidi Li, who was making her first ever Gloucester Music Club appearance. The Grade 9 Colonel By IB student was absolutely impeccable during her performance of Chopin's "Fantaisie Impromptu" which drew the loudest ovation of the evening.

Li used the opportunity to prepare for the Kiwanis Music Festival where she will be competing in the senior graded diploma division. She is also preparing to take her ARCT exam which is the highest level one can attain in the Royal Conservatory of Music grading system.

"It's better to perform in front of people than at home, because there's more pressure. It's good practice," said Li, is the proud new owner of grand piano which she recently received for her birthday.

Like Heidi, Emily Li (no relation) is also preparing for the Kiwanis Music Festival. Two years ago she won a $75 scholarship in her class. She used the money to buy music books.

Emily will be performing in Grade 8 piano.

Several of this week's performers may very well receive an invitation to the Gloucester Music Club's 2012 Gala Concert which will be held on Friday, Feb. 23. Judging by the quality of the peformances at this year's concert series, the organizers will have their work cut out for them in selecting the final line-up.

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



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