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

Penticton brings home the silver in Coquitlam tournament

Penticton atom minor hockey team finished runner up in a Coquitlam tournament on the weekend.

Summerland junior boys basketball team off to Provincials

Tournament will be held in Langley Feb. 22 to 25

Summerland’s Beer house recognized for heritage value

Building on Jubilee Road was constructed more than a century ago

WEB POLL: Would you like to see a new highway built between B.C. and Central Alberta?

Building another highway through the mountains would shave 95 km from Kamloops to Red Deer

WEB POLL: Would you like to see the proposed highway connecting Red Deer to Kamloops built?

The idea to build a highway connecting Highway 11 at Saskatchewan River… Continue reading

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

Johnny Cash takes centre stage in Okanagan

Outlaw Country to revive classics of the Man in Black in March

Former Canadian Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin to visit Kelowna

Beverley McLachlin served as the 17th Chief Justice of Canada from 2000 to 2017

VIDEO: Knife-wielding man arrested after barricading himself in Lower Mainland Walmart

A man had barricaded himself in the freezer section of the fish area at a Walmart in Richmond

Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

Project spending soars along with B.C.’s capital debt

Chilliwack widow ‘crushed’ over stolen T-shirts meant for memorial blanket

Lori Roberts lost her fiancé one month ago Tuesday now she’s lost almost all she had left of him

After two years Ryan Shtuka’s disappearance remains a mystery

The 20-year-old vanished after leaving a party in Sun Peaks on Feb. 17, 2018

Okanagan cadets medal at Sovereign Lake biathlon

First time in 15 years championships held on home turf

Most Read