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(Posted 4 p.m., Feb. 30)

Young musicians hone their repretoire at Gloucester Music Club recital
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Cellist Jon Kulbeka is accompanied on the piano by his brother Adam during the second of three Gloucester Music Club recitals this weekend. Fred Sherwin Photo

For young classical musicians and vocalists, the Kiwanis Music Festival is the most important event on their calendars, other than their Royal Conservatory of Music exams.

The Festival is held every spring and includes competitions in a variety of disciplines at a number of different levels and age groups.

Most of the young musicians who took part in the Gloucester Music Club series on the weekend will either be competing in the Festival or have competed in past festivals.

The Hou siblings, who were on the second of two programs on Saturday, collected nine certificates in total at last year's Festival.

The eldest Emily, received one gold, one silver and two bronze certificates. Middle brother Alexander received one gold and three silver certificates, and the youngest Charlotte received three gold certificates.

All three siblings demonstrated their prowess on the piano Saturday night, with Charlotte providing one of the highlights of the evening with a flawless performance of Clementi's Sonatina in C+ III Op 36 No 1.

The third of three recitals started off with an exquisite vocal performance of Tommaso Giordani's 18th century aria "Caro mio Ben" by Rebecca Potter which set the stage for the rest of the concert.

Fellow vocalist Rachel Hunt measured up with her performance of "Spirate, pur Spirate" by the 19th century Italian composer Stefano Donaudy.

After the vocal performances, it was time for the young pianists on the program to show off their skills starting with Alexander Hou's performance of Tchaikovsky's "Barrel Organ", which is one of the compositions he will be playing at the Kiwanis Music Festival.

Next up was 12-year-old Shannon Webster whose magical interpretation of Yoshinao Nakada's "Song of Twilight" was another highlight among several during the hour-long concert.

Twelve-year-old Karina Nemec showed why she won the Laurentian Junior Music Club Award for Grade 4 piano at last year's Music Festival, by delivering a superb rendition of "When Rivers Flowed On Mars" by Canadian contemporary composer Nancy Telfer, that left at least this member of the audience wanting more.

Other notable highlights included Alice Yang's performance of Mozart's Sonata in G+, K 283, and Sophia Li rendition of Chopin's Waltz in Db+.

But the pièce de résistance was delivered by Gloucester Music Club veteran Kevin Yang whose performance of "Scherzo" by the Czech composer Oskar Morawetz was awe-inspiring, even with the one or two missteps. If you closed your eyes you could almost here the orchestra playing in the background.

No fewer than 63 young musicians performed in the trio of Gloucester Music Club recitals. Among them was 2013 Kiwanis Music Festival scholarship recipients Annabel Lu and Natania Fok.

Those participants who aren't planning to perform in the Music Festival used the recitals to tune up for their RCM exams which are normally held in the spring and summer.

The final two Gloucester Music Club recitals of the season will be held on May 24 and 25 at the Orleans United Church.

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

 

 

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