THEY CAME... ALL YE FAITHFUL.. TO THE CHRISTMAS CONCERT IN ESK
by: Sue Walker
For Twenty-one years now, the Esk Community Choir, under the musical direction of Alexis FitzGerald, has been hosting the annual Christmas Variety Concert in Esk and if variety be the spice of life, this year's concert was very much alive and well and decking the Hall at the State School on December 4th.
The joys of Christmas are brought to us by children and this Concert had them in abundance. At 3pm, a packed audience was welcomed by our Compare extraordinaire, Rosemary Wycherley followed by the opening strains of our National Anthem sung superbly and purposefully by a small group from the Junior Choir. Then, matched by their enthusiasm came the exuberant voices of Wendy, Tinkerbell, Captain Hook and all their friends, the "Semitones 3", with their "Excerpts from Peter Pan" and so sublime was her singing, any mother with a dry eye following Emily FitzGerald's rendition of "Your Mother and Mine" must have had lots of extraneous things on her mind! The angelic voices of the School's Junior Choir also captured the audience with their African Greeting through to the rocking rendition of Jingle Bells. The colourful tapestry of musical sounds was intersperced with many young soloists. Matthew Lukritz, now a familiar face around the traps with his superlative trumpet accompaniment of "Love is a Song", Holley Smith, the young Clarinetist who gave the audience a moonlight rendition of "Tambourin" by Gossec and Courtney Oxenford, the "local girl" who is now turning heads and hearts playing trumpet with the Symphony Youth Orchestra in Tasmania and who, accompanied by her Mum, Andrea, graced our audience with a glimpse of what is becoming an extremely bright future in music.
To have been witness to the talents of our three young Guest Artists from the Sunshine Coast, 15 year old twins Meg and Sam Lucas and 13 year old Anna Foran was indeed a privillege. These three, the girls on violin and Sam, the Cello, both together and separately and for some of the items, accompanied on the piano by the dexterously talented Naomi Craddock, enthralled the audience with the mellifluous sounds of their instruments. With such style, grace and talent for which they have received multiple awards and honours, as role models for their generation and for the enduring future of Classical music, it is encouraging to know that it is in such wonderful hands.
At the other end of the variety spectrum and just as stimulating was the performance by Amber Hitzke and her troop who, by projecting the energy in their fabulous routine with ribbons, "Tribalee", set heartbeats soaring simply by watching, and the guitar band, "Unknown" will never now be after their stirring Guns 'n Roses classic. Then, if that wasn't enough to rock the room, direct from the US of A (street, Esk) .. with his trademark white suit, swivel hips and golden voice, Lloyd King as Elvis hit the stage and had the audience screaming for more!!
However, no Christmas Concert in Esk would be complete without some beautiful singing by the now widely acclaimed Esk Community Choir. Following their popularly received rollicking choral numbers before interval, they completed the Concert with some soul stirring Sacred songs bringing the true meaning of Christmas to their audience who all stood, as tradition states, for the final "Hallelujah Chorus".
And as the Hall slowly cleared of an audience, all replete from a diet of wonderful music, a delectable afternoon tea and bags full of gifts and goodies purchased from the Stall, people were singing the praises of this year's delightful afternoon of entertainment. And as we all now prepare for our family celebrations of Christmas, pray for peace, happiness, rain... but not too much... and enough giftwrap to reach around the last of the presents on Christmas Eve, the family of the Esk Community Choir thanks you all for sharing with them this their 21st Christmas Variety Concert.