Monday, September 8, 2014

'WHAT A PARTY! WHAT AN EVENING OF PERFECTION!'

A full house of enthusiastic Classic Music Lovers

What could be more enjoyable than the company of friends amid sumptuous surrounds, a diverse repertoire of orchestral and choral music by a prodigious Concert Orchestra and an extraordinarily accomplished Choir?  Nothing...that's what!!  And anybody who was not at the Somerset Civic Centre on the night of the ESK COMMUNITY CHOIR's 'Cocktails and Classics' featuring the Davonski Concert Orchestra  will have robbed themselves of an occasion that surely would have enriched their lives. 

The Davonski Orchestra 

Maestro Delwyn Day

An unexpectedly balmy evening was welcomed by Concert goers who, in keeping with the night's theme, arrived in their filigree and finery and when music, fashion of any style and a magnificent venue come together, energy is created that heightens the senses and brings an evening to life.  From the overture of welcoming cocktails followed by the stirring collaboration of Choir and Orchestra performing Mozart's 'Don Giovanni Menuet', 'Student Drinking Song' by Offenbach and the lively 'Let's Have a Party' from 'Don Giovanni', the audience, seated around sumptuous supper tables,  knew they were in for a very special treat.

Under the masterful baton of Maestro Delwyn Day, the Davonski Concert Orchestra, in a capsule of their life's work, describes itself as 'a tight knit musical family, calling on the musical experience, enthusiasm and commitment of each musician to present a satisfying musical journey in every performance'.  However, 'satisfying' possibly understates the wealth of the emotions felt,  at least by this audience and Choir, for unless one has been a part of such an experience or a  party  to it, some words will never come close to describing the feelings..   From the opening potpourri of ageless classics by Strauss and Mozart to the enduring mélange from The Muppets, the audience had begun swaying to the rhythms of the music.  By the Orchestra's  second bracket of classical Waltz tunes by Lehar and Schammel, the evergreen Glen Miller's  'Moonlight Serenade', a hand clapping medley of Duke Ellington favourites and the pulsating sounds of music from 'Fiddler on the Roof' it was sheer restraint only which prevented the audience from turning the lavish décor of the Auditorium into a dance floor.
 



Susan Walker and John Caffin
performing 'Parigi O Cara' from 'La Traviata'.
Following these, and interspersed with the presentation of raffle prizes, the entertainment and hospitality flowed.  Susan Walker and John Caffin gave passionate duet performance of 'Parigi O Cara',  from the Opera,  'La Traviata',  the superlative Choir Ensemble's heady rendition of 'Chorus of Huntsmen',  with the Choir Ladies,  Kathleen Watts's divine solo lead in the beautiful  'Nun's Chorus' from Casanova and the Choir Men's truly inspired rendition of 'The King's Prayer' featuring the superlative solo voice of Bob Hardy were all testament to the extraordinary musical talents and diversity of the Esk Community Choir .   






The Men's Choir performing ' The King's Prayer' featuring Bob Hardy. 


The Esk Community Choir


For over 36 years,  the incomparable Alexis FitzGerald O.A.M. has been refining the musical skills of her Choir and, more recently supported by the undeniable talents of accompanist, Margaret Philp, has honed the Choir's abilities to a point where it has  become a Choir in demand and one which continues to inspire audiences with music in its many forms. While many in the audience on this occasion may not have previously been regular enthusiasts of the 'Classical' Music scene, by the last strains of the climactic Orchestral accompanied finalé of 'Waltz Scene' from 'Eugene Onegin' many had become converts to the joys of Classical Music.  The  Davonski Concert Orchestra's final rousing performance of  'Radetsky March',  spotlighting the highly acclaimed talents of Maestro Delwyn Day on solo violin, had concert goers in  standing ovation and  everyone who came, simply craving for more. 




by: Sue Walker 









Monday, August 4, 2014

MANY NEW STARS WERE SHINING BRIGHT AT THE SOMERSET MUSIC AWARDS IN ESK:


Mr Brendan Scully
"I never thought I would ever see this happening!"...Words whispered by his partner as she watched and listened in measured awe while he delivered with a nervous confidence his mellow notes from the stage at Saturday's 2014 SOMERSET MUSIC AWARDS. 

This is what this event is all about: For music lovers of all ages and lovers of music in all its forms it is a platform from which to leap; a platform from which to find out what is possible when one tries; a platform where performers receive advice and encouragement and accolades for their effort, commitment and achievement. Our adjudicator on the day was Mr Brendan Scully, Director of music at the Sunshine Coast Grammar School, who was generous with his advice, encouragement and praise for contestants and organizers alike.




On Saturday 2nd August, 27 singers and instrumentalists, lined up to participate in this year's event which, for the second year, now encompasses participants from both the Somerset and Lockyer Valley Regions.  Initiated in 2004 by Alexis FitzGerald OAM, and hosted every two years by the Esk Community Choir, the event this year was presented for the first time in Esk's spectacular Somerset Civic Centre. Such an inspiring stage from which to perform!   Families, friends and many interested others formed a large audience in support of the entrants who all rose to the occasion with passion,  joy and a variety of performances which brought their music to life. 
Cr Graeme Lehmann


Encouraged by so strong a contingent of youthful nominees, Mayor Graeme Lehmann, always a generous supporter of the Choir and an enthusiastic regular audience member, thrilled all the participating children when he presented them with gold! ...a gold coin...but what matter the detail when the effect has its just rewards!!!





 

Junior Participants L-R
Emily, Carley, Katie, Ticky, Aydan, Isaac, Joshua, Nedi, Emily
Back: Alexis FitzGerald OAM & Callum Rose

Joshua FitzGerald
Sisters, Emily and Katie FitzGerald were goose-bump outstanding in both their vocal and instrumental performances winning 1st places in their respective sections and with their brother Joshua's  convincing  rendition of 'I Am Australian' , all were proof of the  abundance of amazing musical talent that runs through their veins.  Others, such as Nedi and Ticky Granzien and Aydan Forsyth, all members of the superlative singing ensemble The Semitones, displayed both solo and duet performances with the beauty and confidence they have come to know in their singing. Carley Kunde, in the Under 11 age section, gave a stunning performance of her own composition on guitar to the lyrics of "The Beach" while the audience might have felt moved by many emotions when the very talented Callum Rose on clarinet, performed "Callum in G Minor",  a tune written especially for him by his Grandad .




Matthew Lukritz


 One of Emily's winning performances was a duet with the standout young talent, Matthew Lukritz who has been a cornet playing member of the Mt Beppo Brass Band for a number of years.  At 15 years of age he displays passion and commitment to his music and with his vocal duet beside Emily, his stirring solo rendition of "Empty Chairs and Empty Tables" from Les Miserables and his trumpet duet with Russell Zammitt on piano, his talents shone from the stage.








Suzannah Pegg
There were the rising talents of young guitarists, Emily and Samuel Weber with Samuel showcasing his versatility in a fluid Blues performance on piano.  Suzannah Pegg amazed the audience with her piano accordion combo while Talena Harvey gave a sensitive piano rendition of Bach's "Minuet".  

Talena Harvey
Rebecca Pronard
Rebecca Pronard made gaining 1st place in her vocal section a certainty with her soulful singing of the Leonard Cohen arrangement, "Hallelujah" and Olivia Green's version of Rihanna's "Stay" was not far behind.  Diminutive Charlotte Henderson gave her all with the Garth Brooks song "The River" and teeny tiny beginner Isaac Green bravely tackled Beethoven's "Fur Elise" on keyboard.  All these performers brought together by their love of music and all worthy of the high praise received.
Isaac Green
Katie FitzGerald
Ticky Granzien











Charlotte Henderson


Olivia Green
Samuel and Emily Weber














Carley Kunde
Emily FitzGerald
Callum Rose

















Aydan Forsyth
Nedi Granzien













The extensive Open Sections provided some tough competition, many with their wealth of musical experience evident. In some sections, picking winners presented its challenges while other first- time soloists and duet participants gave performances that took them beyond their wildest expectations, many leaving the stage simply bursting with the joy of their new found confidence. 




Without the generosity of Sponsors such as St John Biarra Masonic Lodge in Esk, and the many local businesses who continue to support the Esk Community Choir and its endeavours, this event would not continue to play the important role that it does in the Community. Our grateful and heartfelt thanks go to Alexis FitzGerald for her boundless generosity of self in the preparation of not only this event but also of the many participants who have put up their hands and also to both Alexis and Margaret Philp for their exemplary piano accompaniment throughout this event.

The Somerset Music Awards is not about winners and losers. It is about using this platform to build confidence, to learn and grow from Mr Brendan Scully's constructive comments.  It is all 'for the love of Music' and encouraged by this, it is hoped that,  particularly  for the youth,  it continues to provide a stepping stone to an enduring love of their  music, that more and more of every age will recognize the benefits of this Music Festival and nominate for the next.  It is about the life-long joys that making music can bring. 

RESULTS for 2014    SOMERSET MUSIC AWARDS

INSTRUMENTAL SOLO:


7 yrs and  under                  
HC
Isaac Green
9 yrs and under
1st
Katie FitzGerald
11 yrs and under
1st
Emily FitzGerald

2nd
Callum Rose

3rd
Emily Weber

HC
Carley Kunde
13 yrs and under
1st
Samuel Weber
16 yrs and under
1st
Talena Harvey
20 yrs & under                  
1st
Suzannah Pegg
Open
1st                
Russell Zammitt



INSTRUMENTAL DUET


13 yrs & under                  
1st
Emily Weber/Samuel Weber
Open
1st
Matthew Lukritz/Russell Zammitt



VOCAL SOLO:


9 yrs & under                    
1st
Katie FitzGerald

2nd
Nedi Granzien

3rd
Ticky Granzien

HC
Joshua FitzGerald 
11 yrs & under                 
1st
Emily FitzGerald

2nd
Carley Kunde

3rd
Aydan Forsyth
13 yrs & under                 
1st
Olivia Green

2nd
Charlotte Henderson
16 yrs & under                 
1st
Rebecca Pronard

2nd
Matthew Luckritz

3rd
Olivia Green
OPEN
1st
Michelle Rose

2nd
Kathleen Watts

3rd
Maree Lansdown

HC
John Caffin



VOCAL DUET


9 yrs and under
1st
Nedi and Ticky Granzien
11 yrs and under
1st
Nedi Granzien/Emily FitzGerald

2nd
Katie FitzGerald/Aydan Forsyth
16 yrs and under
1st
Emily FitzGerald/Matthew Lukritz
Open
1st
Di Chaplin/Gail Webster

2nd
Nola Neimeyer/Kathleen Watts

3rd
Jan Jennings/Robyn Bagster



OPEN VOCAL TRIO
1st
Nola Neimeyer/Caitlin Wollaston/KathleenWatts