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The 2017 Un-Concert was a success all around, as a fundraiser and as an evening of good fun. The Singers had a larger audience than ever before, and the acts were varied and very entertaining. Artistic Director Syd Birrell got the evening started by performing Widor’s Toccata in F, a feat of footwork and legerdemain! Groups of PS members or alumni performed works by Elgar (Lux Aeterna), by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young (“Teach Your Children Well”), by Jacques Prévert and Joseph Kidman (“Autumn Leaves”), and by our very own Rick Hilts (“At One with All Creation”).

And then there were the wonderful soloists who performed alone or in pairs. In the first half, we heard Mozart’s “Als Luise die Briefe” (Sarah Martens), Ludwig Fischer’s “In Cellar Cool” (Colin MacAdam), the gorgeous “Quando Corpus” from Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater (Johanna Bousfield and Christie Smith Favit), and Cohen’s “Hallelujah” (Daniel Plouffe). More contemporary fare graced the second half, including “How Far I’ll Go,” from Disney’s Mona, sung by Tonya-Leah Watts; Victor Manual’s Quiero abrazarte tango, performed by Alberto Luna; and the powerful “I’ll Be Here” from the musical Ordinary Days (Adam Gwon), sung by Christie Freeman accompanied by Dustin Bowers. Bowers also stepped in to accompany Rachel Dalliday, who was gracious enough to sing, at the last minute, “Feed the Birds” (Mary Poppins), when traffic and other difficulties caused two acts to cancel. A big thanks goes out as well to Colette Preston and Syd Birrell, who also accompanied singers.

Before the Un-Concert wound up with a taste from the Peterborough Singers’ 2017-18 season—the dramatic “Behold God the Lord” from Mendelssohn’s Elijah—Melody Thomas entertained by reprising a song she recently performed at the Georgian Bay Symphony’s French Melody concert, the “Doll Song” from Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffman.

So, basically, we had music composed as early as 1736 and as recently as 2016, as well as tunes from the many decades in between.

But wait! Lest you think the evening was all song and nothing more, I should mention Samantha Varty’s piano performance of Bartok’s “Swineherd’s Dance” and the two video productions: Mr. Friendly’s Neighbourhood by Melissa Wotherspoon and A Taste of York by Carey Gibson.

And then there was the comedy act that will probably come to define the 2017 Un-Concert: “Yellow Submarine,” by The Beatles . . .  performed in slickers and on beer bottles.

What will next year bring?

Mary Taves directs “Yellow Submarine”



The gang gets ready to sing a selection from Elijah at the 2017 Un-Concert


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