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(Posted 2:30 p.m., Dec. 2)

Gloucester Music Club concert a celebration of amazing young talent
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Anika-France Forget performs her original composition 'Une Vie' at the Gloucester Music Club concert on Saturday night in honout of her grandfather who passed away last month. Fred Sherwin/Photo


I don't have a musical bone in my body. I can hum a tune, but that's about the limit of my musical ability, which is why I appreciate the Gloucester Music Club concert series so much.

Every year the Gloucester Music Teachers Association holds a series of recitals to give their students the opportunity to perform in front of an audience

This year's concert series was kicked off on the weekend with two nights of recitals at the Orleans United Church featuring more than 40 young musicians ranging in age from five to 17.

The honour of opening the second night of recitals was given to Henry Yin, who delivered a very solid performance of "Early Morning Exercises" by the Russian composer Dimitry Kabalevsky.

Yin was followed by Jeffrey Xia, 12, whose rendition of "The Gypsies" by the 19th century German composer Johann Friedrich Burgmuller was one of the early highlights of the evening.

Other notable performances were delivered by Shannon Webster who played "Mist" by the contemporary Canadian composer Clifford Poole; Nicole Xu's rendition of "The Wild Horseman" by Robert Scumann; and Jeremy Xia's performance of "Arietta" by Rheinhold Gliére.

But the performance of the evening and quite possibly the entire Gloucester Music Club series was an original composition played and sung by Anika-France Forget in honour of her grandfather who passed away last month.

It was the first time the 13-year-old performed the piece, entitled "Une Vie", in public and it was absolutely magical despite the fact that she had a sore throat.

Charlotte Hou's feet dangle from the piano bench as she performs in the first instalment of the 2012-2013 Gloucester Music Club concert series on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo


"I was a little worried about it at first, but I relaxed before I started playing and it was okay," said Forget who does up to six concerts a year.

Forget started playing piano when she was six. She began singing two years later and has been performing ever since. She took first place in her class at the Kiwanis Music Festival the past two years and recently won a pair of song writing contests for her original compositions.

One of the reasons the Gloucester Music Club series was started was to give young musicians the opportunity to prepare of their Royal Conservatory of Music exams and the Kuwaitis Music Festival when they not only have to perform in front of a panel of adjudicators, but a live audience as well.

Saturday's concert had a number of Kiwanis Music Festival veterans on the program, including Amy Li, 12, and Emily Hou, 11. The youngest performer was Emily's five-year-old sister Charlotte.

As has become tradition in the Gloucester Music Club series, the older and more experienced students performed at the end of the program.

Alexander Comantia's recitation of Chopin's "Nocturne in C minor" was superbly played and the best of the evening. He was followed on stage by Alice Yang, 9, who played the quick temp "Solfeggietto" written by Johan Sebastien Bach's son C.P.E. Bach. Her performance was one of the most technically sound of the evening, rivaled only by Kevin Yang, 11, who closed out the program with "Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum by Debussy.

The one hour concert served as yet another reminder of the level of musical talent that exists in Ottawa, and the east end in particular.

Members of the public will get another chance to see and hear these talented young musicians in person at the next Gloucester Music Club concert series on Feb. 8th and 9th.

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

 

 

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