By David F. Rooney
Stage a major event and you always run the risk of it being not quite what you hoped it would be or, at worst, not something people want to pay to see.
But that’s show biz, right?
Fortunately for everyone concerned, Saturday night’s Discovering Your Voice Concert, which was held as a fundraiser for the Hospice Society at the United Church, was not not only every bit as good as the society hoped it would be, the venue was packed, with almost every seat available filled by a warm body.
And why not? This concert was four months in the making and all that preparation by the local musicians and singers in the concert really paid off. The singing and playing were fantastic and the whole show was extremely well MCed by EZ Rock’s Steve Smith. A talented musician, Smith is also a natural-born MC — witty, sharp and impeccably audience-friendly.
But the real credit for ensuring that this concert was not just well-attended but extremely good goes to Robyn Abear, its producer, and the flawless performances of the different choirs and bands, duos and solo performers. The professionalism and dedication shown by Abear and the technical staff showed from start to finish. It showed in the way that the different performers not only provided the audience with a musical experience that was as close to professional as it could possibly be but in the clear sound and smooth, near-seamless transition from one act to the next.
And the performers! The choirs, individual singers, musicians and choir accompanists Marg Stovel for the Selkirk Singers and Lida Carey for the Community Choir were captivating… and in the case of the Selkirk Singers’ performance of Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, quite funny as singer Jan Hughes stripped down and then sashayed through the church wearing an over-size T-shirt of a bikini.
If you like an idea of what the concert sounded like, especially the grand finale performance Allan Pole’s deeply moving song, Many Gifts, One Spirit, please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AePCJ_8lVXQ watch a rehearsal of that piece. And, finally, here are a few photos from the concert: