You never know what will happen next.
I was invited to attend a function being
hosted in Dwight Saturday evening. It was a live performance of the semi-finalists in the Long and McQuade Musical Instruments Amateur Singing Contest, with host John Santos.
The host venue was Bristlecone Lodge -- some of you will remember it as Nor'Loch Lodge. It has recently changed hands, and the new manager, Scott Martin, and his wife, have been hard at work to renew and recharge the facility.
It is wonderful to see the Resort back up and operating -- it is an asset to Dwight and all of North Muskoka.
A chance encounter resulted in them offering to host this event. Brilliant, really, as it is a perfect fit for the area and the time of the season.
|John Santos, and Zack Werner opening the show|
Truth is, I didn't really know what it was about. While this is the 7th Year for this contest, it has not been on my radar. Bringing it to Dwight certainly changed that!
|Ten year old Adrianna Sarah sang in both English and |
Portuguese, with confidence and lovely vocals.
"It's an incentive for the performers to get out of Toronto. They've been practising for eight weeks, and it's a chance to get out," said Martin, "and a lot of them will never have been to Muskoka so it's something entirely new for them."
|Victoria, another of the ten year olds... Wow!|
|Bella, 10, belted out some Broadway and simply|
The show is also about youth. The youngest performers were just ten years old, and wow, did they sparkle! The 'oldest' this year was a whopping twenty years of age, but the show is open to all ages,
|Marilee, originally from Ecuador...|
No make-up... casual clothing... (the uniting fashion statement seemed to be mukluks and high winter boots -- see comment above about "it's COLD!")
The kids were real, down to earth, and just great.
|J.R. (I apologize if I have her name wrong) took|
on Beyonce's style and worked it well
The show was perhaps not so well advertised up here, and there could have been more of the 'locals' out to enjoy it. Hopefully they'll be back next year, and the word will have spread.
|Michael, one of the young adults, captivated the crowd|
The winter weather this weekend conspired to mean that a lot of people were out on the snowmobile trails, enjoying the last big bash at the ski hill, or taking in Bowfire at the Algonquin -- so granted there was some competition for activities -- which just goes to show how much goes on in North Muskoka in late March.
|Stephanie, who rocked a version of Black Velvet|
|Alyssa, who's parents are from Trinidad and|
Italy has a powerful, controlled voice. Bravo
I think for me that was the most notable part of this competition. As well as providing a venue for people of all ages and all nationalities, it provides the contestants with training and a support system that will serve them all well in whatever career they eventually embrace.
|Peter, 20, had never sung before he stepped onto |
the audition stage. Good thing he did, because
he has a fabulous voice, and got my friend
Jackie's vote for best of the night.
|Monica, another young singer enjoying the chance|
to shine in a second language
It is better to teach one bird how to sing, than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.
While this contest might be new to me, it is certainly not new to the media. The Portuguese Press was there, a journalist who has been following the show since it's beginnings.
So here's to John and Lisa Santos, and Zack Werner, and Stephanie the vocal coach and everyone involved in this contest. Well done all of you.
|John Santos and 2012 Juvenile Category winner|
At the end of the evening, last year's winner, 16 year old Alessandra Longshaw sang. She is poised and confident, natural and talented. This is just a tiny snip of her music -- you can go buy her CD when it is completed (it is currently in production, as part of her prize from last year)
thanks for the evening...