"I wanted to thank you and your group so much for the amazing performance last week. I had so many residents coming up to me after the show exclaiming how much they enjoyed it. We would absolutely love to have you back sometime if possible. Wishing you all the best with your 100 performances challenge! Thank you," - Allie Lacasse, Active Living Manager, Summerhill PARC
This was the last weekend before school reopens after the winter break.
The rain continued as a part of Vancouver’s typical winter weather, and we were on our way to perform at Westerleigh PARC retirement home in West Vancouver. The Venue was a very open space with a large but comfortable restaurant area. It was just after dinner, and staffs were cleaning up the tables. On a wall not far away, the burning flames in the fireplace added a touch of warmth and coziness. A Steinway Grand Piano stood right in the corner of the hall, looking elegant. A few residents arrived early and seated in the front row. As we were setting up, a gentleman came forward and spoke to us, “I wanted to apologize, there is a very interesting movie going on the second floor, it might divert some people, and you may expect fewer audience than normal…” said the gentlemen, “of course, we don’t mind, we are happy that you can come and listen to us.” we responded with a smile. The truth is, at that moment, we were moved by his kindness and courtesy.
Sharp at 7:30 pm, we opened up our concert with a flute and harp duet arranged by ourselves but originally written by a famous Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi, played as a part of a well-recognized animation movie “Castle in the Sky”. Its graceful melody set up the scene nicely for this calm evening. What makes tonight more special are our two pianist just landed yesterday after a holiday trip to France and Italy; although they have not yet had a chance to rest much, these two young artists joined us to perform at the concert, which brought a spirit that inspired the rest of us.
As we finished our one hour concert, as usual, a few audiences stayed longer and chatted with us. Many were interested in our instruments and how we started. One gentleman commented that his father used to play the zitter, this reminded him of his childhood times with family. If, each time, we could make some small positive impact - whether it is to reminisce a good memory, or to inspired some new ideas - our purpose of connecting the community through music would be fulfilled.
Happy New Year!
On January 3rd 2019, our Music Connect series opened up the first 2019 community concert at Summerhill PARC, a lovely retirement home in North Vancouver, British Columbia.
The day with pouring rain did not diminish our performers' love for music. A large LED screen presenting a well-designed poster introducing the Vancouver Young Artist Society right outside the multi-function hall was extraordinarily eye-catching. One resident after another came into the concert hall, and soon filled all seats. Ms. Allie Lacasse, the active living manager from Summerhill PARC opened up the concert by welcoming our young musicians and introducing the Music Connect Project: 100 concerts connecting communities.
The group started with introducing the performers and their instruments including the flute, the saxophone, the harp, and a Chinese traditional instrument - Gu Zheng. The program started with a well known jazzy tone - the Entertainer, performed in a version of flute and saxophone duet. Followed by a harp concerto written by George Frideric Handel, and a group of well balanced repertoires including Edelweiss, the First Noel, Hungarian Dance no. 5, and a few Chinese folk songs. The concert was concluded with a traditional Scottish tune of Auld Lang Syne marking the passage from the old year to the new.
After the concert ended, many residents came forward thanking our young musicians for their wonderful performance. The performers were touched by the kindness from the audience, and enjoyed spending time with the residents throughout the concert. When the group reflected after the concert, they were motivated with continuing bring music to the life of our communities, and felt the importance and responsibility of bring better music to the world.