(Posted 3:30 p.m., Dec. 1)
Music Club kicks off new season with marvelous pair of
By Fred Sherwin
Charlotte Hou, 5, performs during the second
of two Gloucester Music Club recitals at Resurrection
Lutheran Church on Saturday. Fred Sherwin
level of musical talent in the east end never ceases to
amaze me. Case in point, the first installment of this
season's Gloucester Music Club series.
Nearly 50 young musicians between the ages
of four and 16 performed on consecutive nights this past
Friday and Saturday at Resurrection Lutheran Church, many
doing so for the first time in front of live audience.
And while some displayed a case of nerves, most came through
with flying colours.
Gloucester Music Teachers Association holds four sets
of recitals each season, coinciding with the lead up to
the Royal Conservatory of Music exams which take place
every spring and summer.
if not all, of the young musicians who performed this
weekend have only just begun working on the pieces they
will be graded on next spring. That usually means that
the first set of recitals in the GMC series is fraught
with pauses, missed notes and wrong keys.
was a magnificent surprise then that the Saturday night
recital which I attended was relatively error free.
particular, 12-year-old Kevin Yang's performance of "Le
Papillon" by the 19th century French composer Calixte
Lavallée was flawless and demonstrated a level
of focus and commitment to the piece that is rare in pianists
only recently passed his Grade 10 RCM exam, earning First
Class Honours with Distinction for receiving a score of
over 90 per cent.
final level in the RCM certificate program is the Associate
of the Royal Conservatory (ARCT) certificate which Yang
plans to test for in two years. Should he pass the exam,
which he no doubt will, he will join a select group of
students who earned their ARCT certificate before tuning
someone so young to earn their ARCT certificate is exceptional.
For two siblings to do so is extraordinary, but that will
eventually happen as Yang's younger sister Alice moves
up through the RCM certificate program.
10-year-old Henry Larsen Elementary School student preceeded
her older brother on the program with Mozart's Sonata
in B+, which she performed with equal aplomb.
highlights included Bethany Lau's performance of 18th
century Czech composer Jan Dussek's Sonatina in G+ Op
20 No. 1.1; Max Fu's rendition of contemporary Russian
composer Dimitry Kabalevsky's Sonatina No. 1 Op 13; and
Megan Lau's performance of Beethoven's Sonatina in G+
Op 49 No. 2.
piano recitals were nicely broken up by vocalist Julia
Rougeau who sang an uplifting version of "Make Your
Own Kind of Music" made famous by Cass Elliot in
the summer of 1989. Rougeau is a GMC veteran having sung
on eight different occasions. She's not sure when she
first heard the relatively obscure song, but she believes
her musician father had something to do with it.
was probably from my dad. He's in a band. I just really
like it. It's very upbeat and it makes you smile,"
said Rougeau, 16.
favourite performance of the evening was Amy Li's spellbinding
interpretation of Chopin's Noctunre in E- Op 72 No 1.
The 13-year-old pianist was very much in the zone as she
beautifully demonstrated the difference between merely
reciting a piece and performing it. It was absolutely
recital also included performances by the Hou siblings
Charlotte, 5, and Alexander, 7. The youngest of the Hou
siblings played Thomas Attwood's Sonatina in G, while
Alexander performed Hadyn's Sonata in F+. Both played
of the students who performed on the weekend are Gloucester
Music Club regulars. Being able to watch their talent
grow and develop over the years is a real treat for people
like teacher and GMC director Lori Lynn Penny.
really special to not only watch them grow, but hear them
grow as well through their fingers, their bows and their
voices," said Penny.
of the public will get another chance to see and hear
these talented young musicians at the next installment
of the Gloucester Music Club series on Feb. 14 and 15.
For more information about the GMC visit www.gloucestermusicclub.ca.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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