North Okanagan youth strum up exceptional sounds

REVIEW: Showcase of excellence leaves reviewer inspired

James Leonard

Special to The Morning Star

It was an absolute pleasure to attend the NOYSE (North Okanagan Youth Showcase of Excellence) concert at Vernon’s Centre for the Performing Arts on Feb. 1. Besides providing excellent entertainment throughout the year at bargain prices, NOCCA (North Okanagan Community Concert Association) sponsors the NOYSE concert featuring auditioned talented young musicians. It was a most inspiring afternoon for this reviewer.

The program featured educator and vocalist/actor/performer Paul Rossetti as MC.

Paul used his educator skills (he is Principal at St. James Catholic School in Vernon) to interview each performer and/or group. He did this from a comfy chair and couch installed on the side of the stage. His charm and insight brought out the best in each performer.

READ MORE: Vernon youth ready to make some NOYSE

Teslyn Bates, who is only 15, began the program with Debussy’s Au Claire de la Lune (By the Light of the Moon). She played the piece with great sensitivity and accuracy.

Six variations on a Canadian Folk Song Land of the Silver Birch by Pierre Gallant (composer not in the program; I hope I heard right) was mildly modern and very clever. She played it with confidence and rhythmic vitality. I liked it.

Angela Zeng, cellist extraordinaire, thrilled us with her virtuosity on the cello as she played Cappriccio by Tchaikovsky. Her intonation was perfect and so was her bowing technique; she showed skills far beyond her 15 years.

Gus Hansen gave us a change in style by playing brilliantly on his guitar; offering Over the Rainbow, accompanying himself singing Running Away (showing himself as an accomplished vocalist), and a stunning Corcovado as a guitar solo. One small reservation from this reviewer: the tone of the guitar was harsh. A much more mellow sound would heighten the listener’s enjoyment. The Line six amplifier appeared to have plenty of tone adjustment and the semi-acoustic guitar could be played with the neck pick up. Nevertheless Gus showed wonderful ability.

Noah Wessels, a 17-year-old pianist, immediately took charge of things by playing the Polonaise in A by Chopin. He brought out the military character of the piece perfectly. The third movement of the Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven was played with authority and brilliance. During his interview, Noah revealed that he made string instruments as a hobby!

After the Intermission, we were treated to the lovely etherial sound of the VCMS vocal quartet. The four young ladies — Zaela Theissen, Alex Theissen, Julia Atkins and Ulyana Doerksen — exhibited perfect ensemble, blend and tuning during their renderings of folk melodies All the Pretty Little Horses, She Walks With Beauty and Windy Nights.

Craig Matterson, pianist, tossed off a virtuoso yet sensitive version of Bach’s Partita in C minor. There was lots of excitement in his playing; he knew his stuff. Craig then changed gears completely; offering his arrangement of the jazz standard Someday My Prince Will Come. It was stunning as he whipped up a hurricane of sound after giving us a solid foundation of the tune at the outset.

Holly McCallum, a 17-year-old cellist, offered Variations on a Rococo Theme, opus 33 by Tchaikovsky as her part of the program. It is a lengthy work full of mood swings- from melancholy to energetic- and urgent runs up to the highest notes on the cello. Her bowing skills and control were evident in the way she played the runs; ending in exceedingly delicate tones.

Roots and Strings- a duo comprised of Anna Konrad violinist, and Jackson Buller electric ukulele – ended the concert in a fun way. They offered The Fox – a medley by Nickel Creek followed by a lovely original song You Don’t Know. They also had very nice voices! To end on a rhythmic and fun note, the entire roster of performers joined the duo onstage to clap along to a lively foot stomper of a tune. What a great concert it was.

The next NOCCA concert is on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 7:30 p.m. featuring internationally-renowned pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin who is returning to Vernon by popular demand.

James Leonard reviews concerts put on by the North Okanagan Community Concert Association

READ MORE: Vernon singers prep for duet in time for Valentine’s


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Feb. 13

120 years ago: Revelstoke Herald, Feb. 13, 1900 Ten Revelstoke men left… Continue reading

What’s in a name? The story of Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic Revelstoke peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Celebrating more than the love of fresh powder at Revelstoke Mountain Resort today

Couples married or renewed their vows for free on Feb. 14

City of Revelstoke and union reach agreement

Workers will see a 2% raise each year for the next four years

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read