The full house at Studio 64 were entertained once again to a very enjoyable evening, including 16 performers with 5 guitarists, one mandolin player, a ukulele strummer, a harmonicist, three pianists and a barbershop quartet. There was a total of 12 singers and one storyteller. Don Davies (an Arts Centre board member) was the very capable MC.
Two of Arne Sahlen’s accomplished piano students, Jordan Touzin and Liam Szalanski, led off. Jordan’s non-titled pieces gave a beautiful and quiet introduction to the music. Liam gave the audience Katy’s Dance (a jazzy swing tune) by Martha Mier, Rumba Romance by Felix De Cola and The Horseman by Dmitri Kabalevsky.
Singers Chloe van Hesteren and then Isaac Grasdal were both accompanied by Tim Plait on piano. Chloe strongly and confidently began with Your Song by Elton John “It’s a little bit funny this feeling inside”, then gave a ukulele intro on Riptide, written by James Keogh and recently a hit by Vance Joy.
Bill Renwick plays harmonica and guitar. He gave three of his original songs and one cover. First was Ride Of Your Life, then a Tom Petty song Wildflowers and next Graveyard(shift), a witty one written to celebrate many years of working at the pulp mill. He finished with a romantic Hold Me In Your Arms. His instruments intricately blended with his rich and varied voice.
Pianist Tim Plait presented three intricate numbers. Two were pieces from the movie Amelie and then Oscar Peterson’s striking and somewhat mysteriously musically roaming The Gentle Waltz. Tim’s mastery of the full keyboard was a delight.
Intermission followed, with tasty treats (thanks Carol!) and conversation in the Gallery.
The second half of the evening began with a throwback act – Kimberley/Cranbrook’s very own barbershop quartet Sound Principle – Michael Jones, Gert de Groot, Joel Vinge and Bob Wakulich. The costumes, blend of voices and clarity of the a capella singing was well done. Standing at the front of the stage, they performed Hi Neighbor (1941), Melancholy Baby (1912), Coroline (1969) by Randy Newman and Wait ‘Till The Sun Shines Nellie (1905).
Jessica Gareau played her guitar and sang three songs: Riptide, Location by Khalid and an original which was a blend of two songs, one from Spain and other composed by her Dad Ray. Very well done.
Tom Bungay played his beautiful red and orange guitar for three songs, Your Love Amazes Me by John Berry “I’ve seen the seven wonders of the world” and Unanswered Prayers by Garth Brooks “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”. Wave Over Wave, a traditional sailor’s song “There’s no other life for a sailor like me”. Verna Bungay then recited the wife’s thought-provoking reply story of raising the children and keeping the house on her own in her rich lilting voice. “The next thing I knew I was married to a sailor… You’re the only man I ever wanted.” Tom finished with the chorus “There’s no other life but to sail the salt sea.”
The final act of the evening was Something Fishy: Larry Tuck on mandolin, Bob Clark and Sam Hornberger on guitars. First was I Wouldn’t Change You If I Could by Ricky Skaggs “You’re all that I would wish for if I wished upon a star”. Then Mexicali Rose (1923), Gordon Lightfoot’s As Fine As Fine Can Be and Hello Mary Lou, written by Gene Pitney and a big hit for Ricky Nelson (1961).
This had to be one of the finest ever Homegrown evenings. Every performer was solidly confident and strong, with beautiful lyrics and tunes. The audience went home happy and wanting more.