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The Casual Concert Turned Into a dance party at the Gwen Secter

by Sadie Silverstein, age 18,student at University of Winnipeg, March 6, 2011.

            On February 23rd of 2011, I had the pleasure of enjoying the talents of the University of Winnipeg Downtown Vocal Jazz Choir.  Their performance which was held at the Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre was part of the popular Rady JCC Music N Mavens series produced by Karla Berbrayer which is in its 13th year. 
             Though this local band is small in size, their musical works collection put me in a positive mood for the rest of the day. I found that the music complimented the talented vocalist very well. The vocalists showed their passion for music while singing in harmony, which added to the “jazzy” and comfortable atmosphere.
            The fairly new assembly, founded in 2009, is led by Helen White, and the choir is made up of University Students and members of public. The concert included a few popular songs such as Bye Bye Blackbird, Putting on the Ritz, And So It Goes, and even Midnight Train to Georgia. With a few impressive solos, the lively group got the whole audience smiling, snapping, and singing along. Some of the solos were only learned within a short time prior to the concert. Given this last minute preparations the audience was very much impressed. As the hour progressed, members of the audience even began to dance. Even some of the vocalists stepped offstage to turn in their vocal chords for a pair of dancing shoes. It wasn’t long until the casual concert turned into a dance party. It sure got my feet tapping!

            Though the entire concert was enjoyable, my personal favourite was Jive Jack. It was upbeat, lively and included several scatting solos. Whether or not it was impromptu, I am not sure, but the scatting by Helen White absolutely blew me away. Another one of my favourites was the final number, Midnight Train to Georgia. The lead vocalist beautifully sang with feeling and soul. The union of  harmonious background vocalists, with the sounds of  the piano, bass and drums, made for a perfect end to a carefree day.

Music ‘N’ Mavens, Winnipeg’s foremost daytime entertainment series, will present its final concert for the 2011 season on Thursday, March 10 at 2:00 pm. 

Eighteen year old classical virtuoso pianist Daniel Tselyakov will perform a program of classical music concertos, featuring works of Mozart, Scriabin, Liszt, and Prokofiev.   Daniel has won numerous scholarships and music competitions.  By the age of 14, he had performed Chopin Piano Concert No. 2 as a soloist with the Penderecki String Quartet.  He will be accompanied in this performance by his father, distinguished pianist Alexander Tselyakov, professor of piano at Brandon University.  

Daniel lives in Brandon and studies at Brandon University School of Music.  He was born in Israel.
Concerts are $6 for RJCC members/$10 for non-members. Music ‘N’ Mavens thirteenth season of culture, entertainment, and education has drawn record attendance to the Rady JCC, with some concerts drawing 130 people to the Berney Theatre in the afternoon.


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