North Okanagan youth strum up exceptional sounds

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

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
UPDATE: Garage on Lakeshore Road burns to the ground, blaze deemed suspicious

Fire crews responded to the scene just after 4:30 p.m.

An empty learning space at Kelowna’s Canyon Falls Middle School prior to the school’s opening in fall 2019. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
COVID-19 case confirmed at Canyon Falls Middle School

This is the first case of COVID-19 being reported at Canyon Falls Middle School

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna council allocates $8M provincial COVID-19 grant

$5.4 million will be applied to the city’s preliminary 2021 budget

In this handout photo provided by the Philippine Red Cross, families stay at a temporary evacuation center at Catanduanes province, eastern Philippines, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, as Typhoon Goni hits the country. Families living near coastal towns have moved to evacuation centers as the strong typhoon makes landfall. (Philippine Red Cross via AP)
Okanagan community group organizes fundraiser for typhoon-hit Philippines

Over two million people have been affected by flooding, with about 500,000 forced to leave homes

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

(Ty Hainsworth / Facebook)
No injuries after fire rips through South Okanagan fruit stand

A fruit stand caught fire Tuesday afternoon, closing Highway 97 for two hours

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

A major reconstruction project on 32nd Avenue is nearing completion and the road is now re-opened to traffic between 33rd Street and 35th Street. (City of Vernon photo)
ROAD REPORT: More roundabouts coming to North Okanagan

New intersection lights up Dec. 13, 30th Street paving delayed, PV Road completed in Vernon

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Ty Hainsworth / Facebook)
Highway 97 now clear following structure fire near Oliver

A fruit stand caught fire Tuesday afternoon

Most Read