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(Posted 1:30 p.m., June 8)

Gloucester Music Club celebrates 25 years with a very special recital
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Danielle Lemieux performed 'I Dramed a Dream' at the Gloucester Music Club's 25th anniversary gala recital on Sunday accompanied by fellow GMC alumni Nadia Boucher. Fred Sherwin/Photo

For the past 25 years the Gloucester Music Club has provided young and aspiring classical musicians and vocalists with a stage on which they could perform in front of a live audience.

Many past GMC members have gone on to pursue a formal musical educatuon at university and even a career in music as a teacher or a member of a professional ensemble.

On Sunday, several Gloucester Music Club alumni were joined by a number of current members in marking the club's golden anniversary with a special recital at the Shenkman Arts Centre.

Among the returning performers were Alex Soloway, who earned a Master's Degree in music from McGill University last year and has performed in concert at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall in New York and the Mozarteum University Chamber Festival in Salzburg; Nadia Boucher, who has worked professionally as a rehearsal pianist, music director and accompanist since earning her Master's Degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music; and Sahra Abdi who currently sings with the Capital Chamber Choir.

The alumni performances were interspersed with performances by several veterans of Gloucester Music Club recitals including siblings.Alice and Kevin Yang, Anika-France Forget, Yaying Chi, and Alexander and Charlotte Hou.

Alice Yang set the tone for the 90-minute long master class with an impeccable performance of Beethoven's Sonata in E Major Op. 14 No. 1.

She was followed on stage by Francesca de Vries, who played the title composition from the 1968 production of Romeo and Juliet by Nino Rota, and Alexander Hou who chose Chopin's Polonaise in G Minor for the occasion.

Among the 24 performances there were several highlights. Chief among them was Soloway's performance of the Prelude, Intermezzo, and Gigue from Arnold Schoenberg's Piano Suite Op. 25; and Danielle Lemieux's spell-binding solo vocal performance of I Dreamed a Dream from the musical "Les Miserables" accompanied by on the piano by Nadia Boucher.

Other performances of note included cellist Nicholas Cooper's recital of Chant de Menestral by Alexander Glasunow accompanied on piano by Gloucester Music Club alum Marie-Luc Lemay; Maria Rechner's playing of Waltz in C-sharp Minor by Chopin; Kevin Yang's performance of Jardins sous la pluie by 19th century French composer Claude Debussy; Amy Li's recital of Chopin's Nocturne in D-flat Major; and Sahra Abdi's vocal offering of the baroque classic Come Again, Sweet Love Doth Now Invite accompanied by Joanne Moorcroft.

The evening's performances were brought to an end by Dorian De Luca whose rendition of Prelude in D-major, Op 23 No 4 by Rachmaninoff provided the perfect bookend to Alice Yang's introduction.

A catered reception followed the gala where old acquaintances were renewed and teachers were reunited with former students.

At the centre of it all was Gloucester Music Club founder Joan Klenavic, who served as the club's executive director from 1991 to 2005.

"Isn't this wonderful. To have so many beautifully talented young people and all these dedicated teachers and family members with them," an emotional Klenavic said afterwards. "And then there's all the other people who couldn't be here tonight because they are pursuing their professional careers in New York and many other places."

The Gloucester Music Club organizers three sets of recitals every year between November and the Kiwanis Music Festival in April. And while they are held to allow young musicians a chance to show off their talent in front of their peers, family members and other audience members, the recitals are also used as an important preparation for the Festival competition.

The Gloucester Music Club executive is made up of members of the Gloucester Music Teachers Association who appreciate the value of having a venue like the Gloucester Music Club recitals for their students.

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



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