Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lisa Crawley Mini-Concert for Atwaters Keyboard

Lisa entertained at Atwaters on Saturday 28th February from 10.00am. for the Keyboard Club.


Lisa is a brilliant pianist and is back living in New Zealand after spending some time in London.

Lisa’s style of music is blues, jazz and rock, and Lisa has made some recordings. She writes her own lyrics, which she sings to her own musical scores.

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She mentioned during the mini-concert that the most requested songs, whilst entertaining in Japan, were the ever so popular “Moon River” and “My Way”.

Lisa also entertains at Sky City, and is currently entertaining at the Ivory Lounge in Parnell.

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Murray Hancox, Keyboard Dept. Manager for Atwaters,
duetting with Lisa and sharing a 'lighter' moment with Lisa

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Prescott Club Community Concert 25th February 2009

As part of the Club's decision to take our music out into the community, this was our first concert for 2009. The convener for these Community Concerts, Peter Brophy, was the MC for the concert and he introduced the three members of the North Shore Amateur Organ and Keyboard Club who did the honours for the day and entertained the attendees from the Prescott Club. The three playing members were: Colleen Kerr; Peter Littlejohn; and George Watt who each played two sessions of about 15 minutes in that rotational order.

The Prescott Club meets in the downstairs hall attached to St Joseph's Church in Takapuna and the Church's piano certainly had plenty of 'grunt' to fill the hall. It was nice to catch up with our Club Member, Lynsie Dowle, who is a member of the Prescott Club also.

At this stage, the Club will be participating in these Prescott Club meetings on the last Wednesday of each month. The playing members will sometimes be provided from the Creative Keyboard Club of Browns Bay with whom we have a partnership to pool our playing members for these events. A very big thank you to the Peter Brophy and the playing members for so generously giving up their time and making the effort to put together the programme. And now for the photos:


Peter Brophy, the Community Music
Group Convener, introducing the
guest players for the morning's concert.



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         Our Secretary, Colleen Kerr                 Peter Littlejohn brought his Korg Pa60

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      Our past-President, George Watt

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Coffee Day 16th February 2009

DSCF1010 What a lovely day! Thank you so much Alvin and Ann Fitzgerald for opening up your beautiful home and your wonderful hospitality for the Club's February Coffee Day. Looking at the picture on the right it looks like Alvin and Ann enjoyed the day also. Alvin looks very much at home on the Korg full length digital arranger piano (Korg Pa588) that was very generously loaned to the Club for our Coffee Day. Thank you Roger Smith from Music Planet, 16F Link Drive, Wairau Park, North Shore (Phone: (09) 444 4442). Why not call in and have a browse around the extensive stock of keyboards, guitars and acoustic pianos including top range brands such as Schimmel and of course Korg!

The day kicked-off about 10.30am with a friendly welcome and nice 'cuppa'. In fact we had a pretty good turn-out with some 21 members of the Club coming along to enjoy the day. Whilst some of our members just enjoy listening to the music and socializing, a fair number of the attendees were keen to have a go on this lovely fully-weighted 88 note piano with styles and sounds aplenty to give full orchestral arrangements - the touch screen was a big hit also as it makes it intuitive to change the rhythms, sounds and settings such as tempo. About 12.30pm we sojourned to the dining area to enjoy the terrific range of finger foods that everybody had contributed. The weather was kind also, so we were able to eat, talk and soak up the magnificent Waitemata Harbour Gulf views - very enjoyable.

So here we go with the pix of all the fun and frolics that we had before gradually fading away about 3.15pm.



Colin Crann was keen to get the 'show on the road' using full keyboard but with the arranger playing along for a really slick, professional sound.


Club Secretary, Colleen Kerr, enthralled us with her super classical style piano skills. Sure makes the "Steinway" samples piano sound of the keyboard sound a million dollars.







It was thrilling for us to hear June McCrorie make her Club debut. June was a little nervous but soon forgot the nerves as she enjoyed the piano. We certainly enjoyed her playing and June reckoned she couldn't play! Well done, June, for cutting the ice. We look forward to your playing in the future both at Club Nights and Coffee Days.






Next up, long-time member Marlene Forrest, entertained us using the built-in styles to add that professional touch to her delightful playing.






Jim Nicholson, the Club Treasurer, showed us he is not only good with the numbers but also with the playing as he rattled-off his old favourites and all from memory! Nice one Jim.





It was terrific to see Dorothy Waddel finding the time to come along and enjoy the musicfest! It is always a delight to hear Dorothy play with her professional touch and lovely choice of songs.






A 'new kid on the block' Roy Evans then entertained us with his straight piano playing. Roy is a keen organist with a large Rogers organ at home as well as a Clavinova! Roy has previously been President of a music group in Napier and so we hope Roy has found a 'new home' with our Club.






Former Club President, George Watt, felt quite at home on the Korg as he thrilled us with his easy flowing stride piano style of playing. I love the music on the music stand George! Oh, to have developed the ability to memorize music and be free of the shackles.





Alan Wilkins had several session during the day on the piano which seemed to intrigue him. Alan is self-taught and plays by ear and they must be pretty good ears because it sounded pretty good as he rattled off medley after medley of all time favourite songs such as 'As Time Goes By' and 'Misty'.

Newly co-opted Committee member, Delyse Whorwood, can be seen behind Alan and was intrigued with the instrument and the great playing. Delyse is taking piano lessons and so we look forward to her musical sojourns in due course.




Committee member, Ken Mahey, thoroughly enjoyed playing the piano in keyboard style with some nice styles to give a great backing to his songs. Desiree Burrows could not contain herself and so she joined-in with a duet whilst our host, Alvin Fitzgerald, watched on intently.




There was plenty of eating, talking and listening taking place as well. In the foreground we see Ngaire McRea (in the blue top) enjoying the playing before she stepped-up to the piano and gave us some terrific straight piano tunes. Yvonne Crann (in the white top) may not play herself but she sure enjoys the listening!


Taking a breather over lunch on the veranda which has superb views of the Gulf.






Peter Brophy in the foreground also delighted us with his playing by ear and covering the dance band era music - but he did manage to elude the camera whilst playing! Peter is the Convener for the NSAOKC and the Creative Keyboard Club so far as organizing our pool of volunteer players to entertain 'in the field' at such venues as the Prescott Club. I suspect he is trying to 'sign-up' Colin Crann in this photo to add to the pool of players for this ongoing Community Playing Project.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Peter Brophy at Sunnynook Ladies Probus 4th February 2009

Club member, Peter Brophy, gave a talk with music to the Sunnynook Ladies Probus. The subject of the talk was "Memories and Musical Recollections" from his early dance band days in South Canterbury - Fairlie and Timaru districts. DSCF0974 Peter set-up his own dance band in the early to mid-Fifties and has developed a unique style of presentation whereby he relates the history and anecdotes of his early dance band days and intersperses the talk with music from the era on his Korg Pa1X keyboard. DSCF0975 The talk was thoroughly enjoyed by all present and the sing-along to the music was delightful.

Co-incidentally, It was good to catch-up with the North Shore Amateur Organ and Keyboard Club's former Secretary for many years, Irene Darby, who is a member of the Sunnynook Ladies Probus. Also present at the meeting were Pam Rea and Joyce from the Hibiscus Organ and Keyboard Club who had been invited by Peter to see if the talk/music would be a good format for their Club Night sometime in the future.

Irene Darby at Sunnynook Ladies Probus 1

Peter enjoys sharing his music and goes out to the community to reach his audience. Both the NSAOKC and Creative Keyboard Club of Browns Bay are working with Peter (as convener) to take our music to various groups hopefully to bring some musical pleasure to people who may not have many opportunities otherwise to hear live music in this era of armchair entertainment.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Club Night 3rd February 2009

What a great start to the New Year! IMG_0969 We had a record attendance for a Club Night with around 60 persons enjoying the fantastic atmosphere and great music. Attendees were not quite "swinging from the rafters" as indicated in the lead-up to Club Night but not far short! The new aluminium windows certainly made a great difference to the airflow with a very comfortable temperature for everybody to relax and enjoy the show. The ceiling fans were put to good effect also, but Alan Wilkins had to volunteer to get down on his knees and hold the sheet music for Des Rouse as the gentle breeze (aided by the fans) wafted through the Lounge playing havoc with Des' music. Well done Des for keeping your cool under 'trying' circumstances and thanks to Alan for holding it all together! Above photo of our guest artist, Chris Larking, playing our Clavinova - photo courtesy of Club Secretary, Colleen Kerr.

The evening started off with John Beales playing the arrival music on his Yamaha PSR-S500 keyboard and playing very nicely too - DSCF0971John just gets better and better with his smooth playing style.

Sam Davidson then had his debut on the Club's Clavinova and made a great job of it too with rhythms and all. Sam has a Technics ensemble piano at home and so it is not easy to get to grips with a different instrument and 'hitting the floor cold'. DSCF0964

Des Rouse then played his Yamaha PSR 3000 playing some great jazz standards in an easy listening and very smooth mode. Well done Des. DSCF0965

Skip Eade then entertained us on the Technics GA3 Club theatre organ. As always, Skip rattled through his pieces with aplomb. You can tell Skip has a GA3 himself as he looked very comfortable with hands and feet in perfect harmony as the great tone of the GA3 came through with the rich, deep bass. Very nice Skip. Also, DSCF0966 Skip had arrived late due to the black-out, through a power surge, on the Auckland side of the bridge necessitating Skip to find a circumlocutory route to get to the venue and not let us down with his scheduled playing. Your efforts to get to the Club were most worthwhile - thanks Skip.

Next up was a guest from Japan, Mari, who is a house guest of members Lizza and Peter Littlejohn for a few weeks. How could we not let such a charming young lady play for us when she has come 6,000 miles for the privilege! DSCF0968Mari played a couple of straight piano contemporary pieces and accompanied herself with vocals for the second song. Everybody thoroughly enjoyed her delicate touch and good choice of songs. Well done Mari and we hope you will visit with us again in the future.

The first half was concluded by Colin Crann playing a couple of foot-tapping, great arrangements. Colin is always a delight to listen to as he puts a lot of effort into his sounds and use of the pedals for assigning performance changes and for effects. Excellent as usual Colin, thank you so much.DSCF0969

The refreshments break, in the dining room downstairs, is always a great half-hour to gather round the large round tables and have a good 'chin wag' to catch up on happenings in the last month. With the Christmas extended break, there was an awful lot of happenings to share.

After the raffle (four hand-painted side plates), which were won by Des Rouse it was time to get back to the serious business of musical indulgence and who better to delight us than the inimitable audience pleasing one and only Chris Larking! IMG_0972 Photo of Chris acknowledging the photo being taken by Club Secretary, Colleen Kerr.

Chris was asked before he started playing to update us on his life-style changes in the last nine months. Chris told us that he has set-up business in Barrys Point Road, Takapuna to sell PA gear, guitars and other musical instruments as well as offering hire instruments for schools and students including turn-key complete hardware and software music solutions for schools around New Zealand. We all wish Chris and his partners every best wish for the success of this exciting new venture which has got to be good to promote proactive music by the younger generation. We can't have them just playing with their video X-Box's and PS3's! You are sure to get a warm welcome if you call in to Dr Music at Barrys Point Road and find out first hand how Chris may be able to help you or your progeny.IMG_0975

Chris entertained us for over 45 minutes non-stop on the Club's Yamaha Clavinova CVP-305 and wow did Chris turn it on for us with his own personal style of arranging the music so creatively and ear pleasing! Chris covered a broad genre of contemporary and jazz standards. The writer particularly enjoyed his version of Nora Jones big hit recently of "Don't Know Why" and Vangelis "Conquest of Paradise - 1492". Thoroughly enjoyable Chris - as always. Thank you so much for such a great mini-concert - you can come again!

Above photo showing Chris sharing musical ideas with attendees.

By 'George', Chris even had a candelabra as he entertained us with his 'music by candlelight' session! Who needs Liberace?


Club President, Gordon Sutherland, presenting Chris with a thank you gift for giving us such a great evening's musical entertainment. Photo courtesy of Club Secretary, Colleen Kerr.