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Budding talent shines at Annual Youth Concert

November 4th
[Reviewed by David Armstrong]

Motueka's young musicians put on a treat for the near full house at the two-hour Youth Concert held last night at the Chanel Arts Centre, hosted by the Motueka Music Group.

With 23 acts, involving over 40 performers, ranging in length and quality from short beginners items to full, skilful concert pieces, the appreciative audience (and many were not just "family and friends") were kept thoroughly entertained. For many of the younger ones and recent beginners it was a daunting but encouraging early performance of who knows what potential future as musicians.

And for a large proportion of already "seasoned" young instrumentalists and vocalists it was an opportunity to show how far they have advanced and what talent exists in our community.

Below are photos of all bar one of the performers (sadly Irene Post's item was so short that I didn't have time to take a good shot before she'd left the stage), and a few comments on some of the more notable items (sorry, no space to fully review every act).

MC John Spicer did an excellent job keeping the programme moving, with succinct and informative introductions. The Motueka South Singers kicked off the night, bravely holding their demeanour while technical issues were resolved. Their strong and clear harmonies in the contemporary "What about me" impressed.

Cooper York showed nice touch and feel on the piano, with a great expression of the rhythmic elements of the two items he played. And first prize for presentation (if there had been one) would have gone to Marcel Bluett whose smart 60s-style suit and hat enhanced his expressive performance of "I've grown accustomed to her face" from "My Fair Lady".

Isabelle George showed good execution and feeling with her piano rendition of Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight", and Franchesca Borell's confidence to take on Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" without accompaniment and getting the audience to supply rhythm with finger click led to a lovely soul/blues feeling from this promising extroverted performer.

One highlight of the night was Alana Behringer's rendition of the current hit song, "The only exception", with the sensitive support of brother Izaak. Alana's breathy, smoky voice and vocal mastery of the tune shop great promise. Later in the evening, Izaak showed his ability to play more complex guitar riffs, applying a well-learned classical picking style subtly to modern tunes.

Having earlier shown his skill on flute, Xander Perrott rounded out the first half with a confident expression on piano of a quite complicated Minuet by Ravel.

The second half featured more of the older musicians and several brass items. The audience were left in awe at the keyboard mastery of Louis Lucas-Perry whose flying fingers tackled an extremely complex and challenging sonata by Haydn. This was a long piece, and the way Louis interpreted and rendered it as written shows he will be a musician to watch as he gains in maturity. Even when he made some small mistakes - it would have been a miracle if he hadn't - he allowed himself a wry smile and continued undaunted.

The saxophone quartet didn't hold back on their solid chords and strong brassy sound, and Tegan Lamont's rendition of a Pink Floyd number on nylon guitar was delicate and accurate. Similarly Anna-Kate Goodall's classical work on flute, with Bill Buck's accompaniment on piano, was short, soft and sweet.

The trumpet trio tackled, largely successfully, a strongly harmonic rendition of "Men of Harlech", and Duncan Phillips chipped in on piano with an impromptu piece showing a jazzy feel and a clear enjoyment of a real musician.

The High School-based Motueka Singers struggled with the difficult harmonies of an ambitious a cappella version of "Hine e Hine", but picked up with a stronger and more accurate modern number in four parts, thanks to some piano backing.

Three flautists rendered the tradition English piece, "Country garden", with simple charm that would in fact not be out of place at a gentille garden party. The evening finished off on a gleeful note with the one-week-old Motueka Glee Club singing the modern hit "Something in the water" - with actions - to ensure the audience went home with smiles on their faces.

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MC John Spicer

Motueka South Singers

Heather Sinclair-Wentworth

Cooper York

Sean Cramer-Roberts

Marcel Bluett

Jacob Bowdler

Isabelle George

Franchesca Borell

Xander Perrott & Jill Seeney (tutor)

Alana & Izaak Behringer

Xander Perrott

Izaak Behringer

Louis Lucas-Perry

Duncan Phillips, Josh Gardiner, Bianca Black & Aedan Fenemore

Tegan Lamont

Anna-Kate Goodall

Jon Anderson, Sebastian Kelliher & Tegan Lamont

Duncan Phillips

Motueka Singers

Alex Brewer, Alice Perks-Hoult & Anna-Kate Goodall

Motueka Glee Club

Comment by John Spicer:
[Posted 5 November 2010]

On behalf of the Motueka Music Group I want to thank you for providing such a valuable record of the Youth Concert on motuekaonline. The photos are excellent, but what particularly impressed me was the tone of your commentary. Local journalism can often be overly generous in its comments on young performers - well-intentioned but the comments can be counter-productive. I thought your commentary was honest, balanced and helpful to the performers.

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