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(Posted 11 a.m., Nov. 28)

GMC kicks off 25th season on a high note
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Maria Rechner performs a violin recital during the Gloucester Music Concert on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

It's hard to believe that the Gloucester Music Club has been providing young musicians with a venue to express themselves and gain valuable experience playing in front of an audience for the past 25 years.

The GMC kicked off their silver anniversary season with two nights of recitals at Orléans United Church on the weekend.

The lineup on Saturday featured some first-timers as well as some Gloucester Music Club veterans. The youngest was just six years old, while the veterans included siblings Alexander and Charlotte Hou, and Kevin and Alice Yang.

There were 21 performances in all from the very brief to the extremely ambitious, which is what makes the series so special. You really do get a little bit of everything.

Some of the highlights during the Saturday evening concert included Catherine Rechner's rendition of "Nocturne" by contemporary American composer Paul Sheftel; Alexander Hou's recital of James Hook's Sonatina in D+ Op12 No. 1; and Charlotte Hou's performance of Johann Hassler's Allegro in D+ Op38 No. 28.

Hook and Hassler were both celebrated composers and organists in the late 18th and early 19th century.

Anika-France Forget's piano recital of Domenico Scarlatti's Sonato in D- was also pretty special, as was Yaying Chi's rendition of Mozart's Sonata in F+, I, K332.

Kevin and Alice Yang were their usual consistent selves with both of them turning in strong performances. Kevin chose Bach's Prelude and Fugue in G+ BMV 860; while Alice played Schubert's Impromptu in Ab+ Op 90.

But my favourute performance of the evening was delivered by Maria Rechner who played her own arrangement of the theme from "When Calls the Heart".

Interspersed among the piano recitals was a pair of violin recitals by Elane Welter and Maya Racicot.

The honour of closing the concert was given to GMC veteran Amy Li who played Frédéric Chopin's Nocturne in Db+. Li is one of my favourite Gloucester Music Club performers and on this night she was impecable.

The GMC is run by a group of local music teachers to give young musicians the opportunity to perform in front of an audience. The organization puts on three sets of concerts every year – one each in the fall, winter and spring.

The Gloucester Music Club is planning to hold a special anniversary reunion concert on June 5, bringing together many former GMC performers.

The next Gloucester Music Club recital is scheduled for Feb. 5 and 6, while the third installment is slated for March 11 and 12..

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

 

 

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