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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Club Night 4th November 2008

What a fantastic musical happening! What a celebration of musical styles of play! Definitely an evening to put into ones annuls of musical highlights. First half saw our talented members play and then our special guest artist, Dave Hallam, dazzled us with his playing in the second half. IMG_0095 A near full house of members and visitors were entertained firstly with the arrival music kindly provided by new member, Peter Jackson, who purred through a variety of light contemporary music on his Korg Pa1X keyboard. Peter is also the Vice-President of the Hibiscus Organ and Keyboard Club.

Dave Hallam our guest artist
Photo courtesy of Colleen Kerr, Club Secretary

For the first half of the evening our Club members entertained us with some wonderful music both on keyboards, Clavinova and the mighty Technics GA3 organ. Four of the six players in the first half were new members thrilling us with their debut performances and adding richness with their respective styles of play. DSCF0788First off the block we had 'young at heart' new member, Adrian Blok, give the GA3 organ a 'dusting down' with some lovely smooth easy listening melodies. Adrian tells me that he has a numerical system that he has devised for his chord progressions - whatever, his system certainly delivers with slick play - well done and 88 years young to boot!

Next to play for us was Jim Nicholson, the Club Treasurer, and talented pianist as well. Jim chose the Clubs CVP-305 Clavinova to entertain us with - very nice as usual Jim. DSCF0790 Jim has the model above the Clubs Clavinova at home and this certainly helps to select terrific styles to match the mood of the music.

Next off the block, our very latest member, Takashi Iida, stepped-up to the Technics GA3 and played a lovely piece of music with expression and passion - there was a sting in the tail too when half way through the number Taka burst into a Rumba rhythm. DSCF0791 Taka is unfamiliar with the Technics organs but he didn't let that stop him getting some great sounds and expression going. I understand that Taka has a magnificent Yamaha Electone ELX-1M organ at home so he knew how to work the pedals! Well done Taka on your Club debut and we look forward to future renditions.

Next member to play for us was our long-time member, Pam Rea, who had brought her great Korg Pa80 keyboard along and didn't Pam make that instrument 'talk' to us.DSCF0792 Lovely choice of pieces Pam and delivered in your usual smooth style of play - well done and thank you. Pam is the President of the Hibiscus Organ and Keyboard Club. It is wonderful that around Auckland we have such enthusiastic people that both organize Clubs for our pleasure and also share their music amongst the several Clubs in the Auckland region.

Next 'off the block', Alan Wilkins made his Club Debut on the Clavinova. Alan was the first to admit to a lot of nerves before playing! But hey, Alan, we all suffer that to a certain degree, but we all love music enough not to let a little thing like that stop us expressing ourselves through our music.DSCF0793 Alan has a Clavinova CVP-401 at home and so he was a little nervous about the different set-ups and styles etc. He needn't have worried though because Rob Powell, who is very knowledgeable about the functionality of the Yamaha Clavinovas and Yamaha PSR keyboard range, stepped-up to the front and helped Alan set the instrument up. Alan plays by ear (quite a feat really most of us play by fingers!) and demonstrated his great jazz feel of play very well indeed - see Alan you needn't have worried, we all enjoyed your music very much - very well done!

Last but certainly not least, to finish off the first half of the evening, is was a delight for the Club to welcome back to playing and indeed membership of the Club, Doug Farr. Doug was very pro-active in the Club in the early days and so it was a touching moment for some of the longer-term members to see and hear Doug play again for us. DSCF0795 Doug tells me that he has a variety of musical keyboards including: the Technics KN5000 which he played this evening; a magnificent Technics KN7000; an Ensemble Technics digital piano; and if my memory serves me correctly Doug also has a Baldwin organ and the revolutionary (at the time) Lowrey MX-1 electronic theatre organ. Now that's enthusiasm! On the evening Doug played his Technics KN5000 arranger keyboard for us but with a 'twist' - for my first time anyway, I got to hear a proper organ-type pedal board that was interfaced through the midi port of the KN5000 and together with the expression volume pedal wow what a magnificent sound and wonderful rich rhythmic effect that gave to Doug's playing which was absolutely terrific demonstrating both sensitivity of touch and fluidity of play with pieces such as Tico Tico - the smoke was pouring off the pedal board and keys! DSCF0794 Thanks very much Doug for a wonderful debut for the Club. Doug has promised to bring his superb Technics KN7000 arranger keyboard next time with his own sub-woofer gear to enhance the bass pedal part even more. We can't wait Doug!

Doug Farr featuring his midi interfaced pedal board ---------------->

After all that great musical excitement, it was time to sojourn downstairs for a nice cuppa and biscuits together with a good chin-wag to catch-up on the happenings over the last month as well as what we had just heard upstairs! We didn't need to ring the bell to get the audience back upstairs for the second part of the evening though as they were chomping at the bit to hear our special guest artist - professional musician and well respected music tutor here on the North Shore - Dave Hallam, give a mini-concert for us. IMG_0096 Dave brought along his super Yamaha PSR S900 arranger keyboard (like a pocket battleship Tyros2) to thrill us with his play and the magic sounds and full orchestration that this mighty instrument is capable of emulating (with a little skill from the player of course!). We were not disappointed!

Dave playing the Club's Clavinova
Photo courtesy of Colleen Kerr, Club Secretary

Dave held the audience transfixed as he slid through a variety of contemporary music (including some not so recent stuff like "Sympathy" from circa 1913). Gorgeous Dave, it is a delight to watch and hear a master keyboardist demonstrate how to play the instrument with such realism - like the art of playing the keys to emulate the nylon guitar so true to life. But wait... Dave didn't stop there. He then switched to the Club's Clavinova and enthralled us with the sound of the piano but with a rhythmic background - something the digital ensemble pianos can do so well. Dave gave us some J S Bach also Prelude #1 if I recall correctly - stunning!

But wait... there's more! Dave then invited our member, John Stent, to join him in an impromptu jam session. DSCF0802 John is a very talented keyboardist and one of the foremost intuitive experts on chords in New Zealand, I would be so bold as to say. So with Dave's controlled and polished expertise to drive the next few songs and the explosive improvisation of John's jazz style chord playing as lead, the audience was mesmerized for about 20 minutes.

John searching for the G Chord?
I don't think so, just putting his 'heart and soul' into his wonderfully dynamic style of playing.

Absolutely a unique experience that would not be repeated in New Zealand that often - we all felt very privileged to enjoy the unleashing of so much talent. Thank you Dave for a wonderful mini-concert and thank you John Stent for helping to embellish the musical proceedings to even greater heights. What is amazing is that this was unrehearsed and completely improvized on the evening - amazing.


Who's gonna pull the trigger first? 
Dave Hallam on the left waiting for John Stent's lead as
they amazed us with their impromptu jam session.