Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Launch of Yamaha Tyros3 arranger/keyboard on 9th December 2008

Mainline Musicworks hosted the launch of the exciting new flagship Yamaha Tyros3 arranger/keyboard on Tuesday 9th December 2008 at the Band Hall, Taharoto Road, Takapuna. DSCF0909Darren Smith from Musicworks HQ demonstrated this new flagship keyboard as well as the latest Yamaha Clavinova CVP-407. Everybody in attendance were amazed at the clarity and realism of the sounding that Darren demonstrated as he ran through a variety of music and genre.

DSCF0910 Darren mentioned that this was a revolutionary model rather than evolutionary as Yamaha has spent much energy on significant new features such as: 11 dsp (digital signal processor) chips to control the effects of individual accompaniment instruments in the rhythm styles and real time instruments that your play; 11 amazing new super articulation 2 voices with up to 400 samples per voice; top of the range and new sampled grand piano; artificial intelligence to monitor your playing and change the sound characteristics to suit your style of play; a guitar engine that sounds like a real guitar strum (expands your chord over two octaves like on a real guitar); built-in 80 Gigabyte hard drive; two USB 2.0 ports for memory sticks; USB host to computer; sliders to control precisely and in real-time the real time and style tracks; ability to install inside the keyboard additional sound cards to expand even further the sound banks; sharper and brighter TFT LCD screen; ad infinitum. Yamaha have, however, been careful to leave the layout of the Tyros 3 similar to previous models and so people switching over should feel very comfortable with the operation of the instrument.
After the concert, Darren was available to answer questions whilst people had the opportunity for a 'hands-on' play. There were plenty of admirers and plenty to admire!

Thank you Mainline Musicworks for putting this concert on for the Auckland keyboard enthusiasts and a special thanks to Alan Lavis, Manager of Mainline Musicworks, for organising the concert and of course to Darren Smith, from Musicworks HQ, for giving us this concert at a hectic time of the year for him.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Deryn Trainer Mini-Concert for Atwaters Keyboard Club

Deryn Trainer gave a great return mini-concert for the Atwaters Keyboard Club at Atwaters Musicworks, Hobson Street, Auckland City. DSCF0908 Deryn played a variety of popular music including songs from his recently released album "Deryn Trainer". DSCF0905 Deryn played a Yamaha Stage Piano CP33 and a Yamaha grand piano with equal aplomb. Some of the songs played included: "Fly Me To The Moon"; "Route 66"; "Leningrad" (one of Deryn's favourite songs from Billy Joel); "Misty" (this was a spontaneous request and Deryn's orchestrated arrangement was magnificent and off-the-fly!); Mark Knopfler's "Goin Home"; and by request, of course, Billy Joel's "Piano Man" replete with harmonica. DSCF0906 The concert continued for just over an hour and then Deryn spent about 10 minutes answering questions about his musical training and background which started at an early age with classical piano training. DSCF0907 Very interesting and what a great guy - good sense of humour and no 'edge'. Thank you very much Deryn and good luck from all your fans in your quest for recognition in Las Vegas.

A big thank you to Murray Hancox of Atwaters also for arranging this concert as a Christmas special.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Club Night 2nd December 2008

What a great way to complete our 2008 music programme. Our last Club Night of the year seemed to be thoroughly enjoyed by the substantial audience. IMG_0251 But with the wonderful playing skills and extensive repertoire of professional musician, John Bercich, as our guest artist what would you expect!

Photo of John courtesy of Club Secretary, Colleen Kerr

Mind you the evening did not get off to a good start with the President having his car smacked on the way to the meeting! However, things soon picked-up when Ngaire Lonergan set-up her lovely Technics sx-KN2600 keyboard to do the arrival music for us.DSCF0884 Ngaire's enthusiasm was manifested in getting started at 6.50pm and playing non-stop until the formal programme commenced at 7.30pm! Ngaire played a selection of Christmas songs in her usual very smooth style. Thanks Ngaire for getting the evening off to a great start. It is good to have you back playing at the Club again.

Next up to 'cut-the-ice' was Club President, Gordon Sutherland, who had brought his Korg Pa1X arranger/keyboard. What else to start the evening off with but "White Christmas" that had been pre-recorded with a vocal track and then played over live. IMG_0249 Gordon admitted, sheepishly, that the voice was his, but only made this acknowledgement after positive comments! After the bangs and crashes with the car, it was ironic that the next piece had lots of bangs and crashes in the style for Vangelis' "Chariots of Fire".

Photo of Gordon courtesy of Club Secretary, Colleen Kerr

Barbara McNab then chose the Clavinova to play a couple of lively songs in the genre of ballads/Country and Western. DSCF0878 Very smooth Barbara and she doesn't even have a Yamaha Clavinova - well done!

Peter Littlejohn then played the Technics GA3 organ with some great arrangements of Abba songs including "Honey, Honey" and "Money Money Money". DSCF0879 Very nice Peter, and wait until you get to grips with your newly acquired Technics GA3 - something for us to look forward to.

Ken Mahy then played the GA3 for us but not until he had got us rolling-in the aisles with laughter with his proverbial Irishman/Englishman joke. DSCF0880 Ken said he was really pleased to be asked to play the Christmas Night meeting as he had never had this opportunity in the last four years of so. Well Ken, it was worth waiting for as he played some seasonal Christmas hymns very smoothly. Well done Ken - very enjoyable.

To finish the first half, Colleen Kerr, our Club Secretary, played two semi-classical pieces: "Autumn Concerto" and the very difficult but classic "Rhapsody in Blue" by Leonard Bernstein. DSCF0881 Colleen has been working on "Rhapsody in Blue" for about six months and we were enthralled with this gorgeous piece of music. Colleen reckons there were a few hesitations in there but the audience didn't notice and just enjoyed the wonderful music. Thank you so much Colleen, especially as the writer knows how much effort went into perfecting these pieces for us.

Unusual for the our Club, we had five minutes to spare before supper and so the Gordon Sutherland, played a third piece on his Korg: "A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square" complete with Church bells and the inimitable 'birdie sounds'. Gordon assured us that the birdie sounds were genuine samples of Nightingales - fortunately for him we had no ornithologists present to challenge this assertion!

Next it was time to head downstairs to the dining room where Phyl and Jack Briscoe and many willing helpers had set up a nice cup of tea or coffee for us replete with seasonal fruit mince tarts. Very nice Phyl/Jack - as they say an army marches on it's stomach and so we were then ready to absorb the wonderful music of our guest artist, John Bercich.

John had brought his Korg Pa1X arranger/keyboard together with his magical Trixon Vibraphone (the last one that came out of the German factory about 40 odd years ago according to John). DSCF0885 To add to the fun atmosphere to finish the year, John also brought his multi-coloured light show which really added mood to the evening when the lights were dimmed and with the backdrop out of the windows behind John - the sight of the Takapuna business district lights - added a surrealistic feel to the performance. John treated us for about 55 minutes of popular music across many genres and over a 70 year range of composition. Such versatility, such consummate skill - wonderful to listen to and watch John's dexterity on the keyboard and the Vibraphone. John told us that the Vibraphone is a very difficult instrument to master and is probably the most exclusive instrument in an orchestra. John even played a few requests, one was "Moonglow", for which John used a pre-recorded backing track on his Korg that he happened to have recorded himself previously and that was in his Songbook database, and to which he then played the Vibraphone to the backing - superb. Also, a favourite of the President, Bob Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind" was requested and played on the keyboard. This is probably one the best arrangements of this song that the writer has ever heard and is on one of John's two professionally produced CD's that were for sale on the evening at a very reasonable $20 each. John brought a couple of his talented mature students with him, Jan and Yvonne, and it was wonderful to listen to John on the Vibraphone duet with Jan on his Korg Pa1X. Well done Jan, you get better each time I hear you play - but then you have a master to teach you the tricks of playing a keyboard correctly. DSCF0887

To cap the performance off, John must have enjoyed the evening, our warm response to his great music (built-up over 50 years of professional playing), prompted John to decide he wanted to join our Club there and then. There were no objections! Thank you so much John for coming along and playing for your friends and enthusiasts here on the North Shore and at a very busy time of the year for your musical engagements.

To finish the evening, we held the Christmas Hamper Raffle. Thanks to the magnanimous generosity of our members donations, we managed to fill six buckets full of food and drink goodies. DSCF0892 Our former President, George Watt and his wife Jean Watt had been working hard to prepare the packages over the last couple of months, so a big thank you for a job well done! Congratulations to the winners and remember to start the slimming exercises straight away to burn off those tempting calories!

A special thank you goes to member Trevor Waddel, whose engineering background was put to good use, as he magnanimously volunteered to make a set of wheels to place under our Clavinova piano and so that it is now a breeze to slide around the Club Rooms on the plush carpet. Whilst thanking support staff a big thank you to our tireless treasurer, Jim Nicholson, for keeping us on the straight and narrow and to our Club Secretary for all the secretarial work done in the year and all the 'behind-the-scenes' PR support - not to mention the muscle power to rearrange the furniture in the Club Rooms before the start of each meeting! Thanks also to Committee Member, Ken Mahy, for all the words of advice over the year.

The North Shore Amateur Organ and Keyboard Club wishes all our members and families and 'regular' visitors a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. See you all next year for some more exiting musical happenings.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ladies Probus Club of Warkworth

North Shore Amateur Organ and Keyboard Club and Creative Keyboard Club have a joint Music Project to take music to the community. DSCF0858

Peter Brophy and Gordon Sutherland had the pleasure of providing the musical entertainment for the Ladies Probus Club of Warkworth's last function of the year.


Peter doing his stuff

The ladies were charming and seemed to enjoy the variety of music, jokes and musical quiz. The music stretched over about two hours - amazing how time flies when you are having fun! It is always satisfying to see people get up and dance showing that they are enjoying the music and 'punchy' rhythm! All in all a lovely day in sunny Warkworth. Food was good too!

DSCF0857                 DSCF0856

DSCF0861                 DSCF0859

Not all the music came from Peter and Gordon, with a little stealth and cajoling the Committee for the Ladies Probus Club stepped-up to the stage and gave us a very melodic and hearty version of "Maggie" under the musical direction of Peter. Well done Committee!

DSCF0862             DSCF0863

Hey, the music must have been OK because look - spontaneous dancing in the aisles! Nice timing ladies - keeping in sync with the rhythm - but a bit of a challenge taking a photo with all those twirls!


Monday, November 17, 2008

Coffee Day at Peter Brophy's Lovely Home

A great day at Peter Brophy's lovely home. IMG_0177 Peter laid-on a BBQ complete with BBQ' d beef and a whole ham for the 24 members to demolish, all washed down with some choice Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc! The photo on the right shows Peter basting the beef on his BBQ (Photo courtesy of Colleen Kerr). Whilst the weather was overcast the sun was shining indoors with the great music from the 3 different top-of-the range brands of keyboards and a state-of-the-art ensemble digital Yamaha piano (DGX630) kindly provided for the day by Mainline Musicworks, Taharoto Road, Takapuna. Some great music was shared on the variety of instruments - keyboardist's heaven! We even had the option of a swim in the heated swimming pool with one taker! They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and so let's look at the photos from the day.

Peter Littlejohn enjoying the Technics KN6500
Photo courtesy of Colleen Kerr


Club Secretary, Colleen Kerr playing the Yamaha DGX630 as a straight piano. Very pleasant music indeed Colleen. Mainline Musicworks supplied us the piano for the day, complimentary, including delivery and set-up - now that is service - thanks to Alan Lavis, the Manager, for organizing the piano for us. We certainly gave it a good work-out - it was very popular. An amazing graded weighted key-action piano with styles and orchestral sounds to boot and all at a very competitive price!


Skip Eade entertaining us on the Korg Pa1X - Skip is right at home with this instrument as he has one at home!

DSCF0852 DSCF0854
Rob Powell and Dorothy Waddel having come from a charity concert earlier in the morning used their costumes from the concert to add to the joviality of the occasion. Barbara Powell can be seen watching-on and before she played the Tyros for us with a great version of "What a Wonderful World" using a super 12/8 rhythm/style.


Rob Powell playing the Tyros solo. Nice playing as always Rob.


Some of the members absorbing the great music.


The 'boys' photo. Left to right: George Watt; Gordon Sutherland; Jim Nicholson; Jack Briscoe; Skip Eade; Ken Mahy; and our gracious host, Peter Brophy.


Colleen Kerr and Shirley Smale doing what Coffee Days are all about, relaxing to the music and catching-up on all the news from the month past.

And now the banquet photos, the mouth waters just looking at all that delicious food!

DSCF0839 DSCF0848

DSCF0846 DSCF0845


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Community Concert to Prescott Club

Members of North Shore Organ and Keyboard Club in conjunction with the Creative Keyboard Club gave a one hour concert for Age Concern - North Shore's Prescott Club. IMG_0135 This was the first concert of its kind for our Clubs' and playing at the inaugural concert was: convener Peter Brophy; Dorothy Waddel and Gordon Sutherland (the three players can be seen going over details before the start of the concert of the right - photo courtesy of Colleen Kerr). It was nice to be made very welcome by the support staff of the Prescott Club by offering a cuppa and biscuits whilst we set-up all the gear before the concert. Everybody attending seemed to enjoy the solos, duets, singing, jokes and general interaction.IMG_0136 All in all, a great start to our Clubs' 'getting out into the Community' concerts.


Peter on the left talking to the
Prescott Club attendees
Photo courtesy of Colleen Kerr


It was great to see John Beales and wife Pauline together with our Club Secretary, Colleen Kerr, and Trevor Waddel coming along to support the 'troops'. Both John Beales and Colleen Kerr are scheduled to play to the Prescott Club early next year. This will be a regular concert for the Prescott Club each month in 2009. A special thanks to Peter Brophy for having the vision and energy to get this Community Music project off the ground.


The Club players will be giving their services and time for free but the organisations being entertained will make a modest donation to our joint Clubs' funds.


Dorothy sang 'Vera Lynn' style to the audience whilst Peter accompanied on his Korg and Technics keyboards
Photo courtesy of Colleen Kerr 




Our Joint Clubs' Poster Board "Proudly Bringing Music to the Community"
Photo courtesy of Colleen Kerr



Gordon Sutherland playing solo. Even captured with his hands on the keyboard for a change - normally the keyboard has to play itself whilst he pushes buttons! Only joking!
Photo courtesy of Colleen Kerr






Peter Brophy going 'hi-tech' with his Technics KN6500 and Korg Pa1X keyboards working together nicely
Photo courtesy of Colleen Kerr


Let's not forget the support crew! Trevor Waddel doing the video honours and Colleen Kerr looking for her next target to shoot with her still camera - bang bang!



And now the real 'heroes' of the day - The Prescott Club members - enjoying the occasion. On the left you can see John Beales and his wife Pauline soaking-up the atmosphere.










Another shot of the Prescott Club attendees. With Colleen Kerr and Trevor Waddel riding shot gun on the right of the picture.