Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Korg Workshop 25th March 2009


Rod used his Korg Pa1X for demonstration purposes.

Music Planet of Moana Place, Orewa (09 427 5300) gave another great Workshop with Kane and Rod giving hands-on demos on how to perform specific functions with the Korg. Stephen Hindson kindly brought his video camera and large screen and image projector so we could all see their hands as they operated the keyboard which was Rod's Pa1X Pro. The hospitality was good again with cheese, crackers and wine to start the evening off in a relaxed manner. Also, Rod played some great arrival music. Items covered were: using the Internet to obtain great midi files with lyrics; how to save these files for use on your Korg; how to add or decrement tracks from these midi files for play along etc; using the Pads; Assignment Switches; brief run through again of saving your performances; how to use scales to enhance your smoothness of play and add interesting 'echo' bars and fills; how to construct and use sevenths to make your music more varied and interesting. All really useful stuff - thanks guys! Note that midi functionality is built-in to all Korg Pa series keyboards.

All photos are courtesy of Colleen Kerr, Secretary, North Shore Amateur Organ and Keyboard Club.



Kane showed us a great Web Site to find midi and karaoke files for free and how to download them for use on your Korg. Kane advised that all Pa series Korg keyboards have the ability to download and play midi files as well as edit abilities etc.






Some stimulating discussions with a very relaxed atmosphere and plenty of opportunity to ask specific questions from the 'experts' on getting the best out of our Korg keyboards.





Stephen Hindson set-up a large screen to project the keyboard so everybody had a clear view of proceedings. DVD's are available from Stephen of this and some previous Workshops. So don't despair if you missed this session. Contact Stephen at: Creatif Video 09 426 2098 ($15 + p&p per session)

Prescott Club 25th March 2009

What a lovely group of people, it was a privilege to play once again for these folks that are members of the Prescott Club under the auspices of Age Concern.


Our host Leslie, as always, made us very welcome as did the caterer Dennis who offered to provide luncheon after the hour-long concert - maybe next time Dennis - what a nice thought! As the Creative Keyboard Club and North Shore Amateur Organ and Keyboard Club's convener was on holiday in the South Island, Gordon Sutherland, President of the North Shore Amateur Organ and Keyboard Club acted as MC. DSCF1079

Marlene Forrest played her great Tyros2: Pack Up Your Troubles; On The Sunny Side Of The Street; Once In A While; Oh, You Beautiful Doll; White Cliffs Of Dover; Whispering Grass; Vaya Con Dios.

Well done Marlene the audience loved it!

Gordon was well supported by three great musicians in order of play: Marlene Forrest (President of the Creative Keyboard Club); Jim Nicholson (Treasurer of the NSAOKC); and, Shirley Smale (a member of both Music Clubs). Marlene and Shirley brought their Yamaha Tyros keyboards with them whilst Jim played the acoustic piano belonging to the Church Hall.  DSCF1080 We are due to play again next month for the Prescott Club on Wednesday, 29th April 2009 and that will certainly be our pleasure.

Jim Nicholson had the audience tapping their feet and snapping their fingers as he rattled off a great medley of sing-along songs such as: Roll Out The Barrel; Lille Marlene; and so forth. Thanks Jim a great job.



Shirley Smale played her brand new Yamaha Tyros 3 arranger/keyboard and what a gorgeous sound. Shirley had the audience humming along as she went through her pieces: More; Among My Souvenirs; When I Fall In Love; I Only Have Eyes For You; All Of Me; Fools Rush In.




Sunday, March 22, 2009

St. George's Church Cameo Group 22nd March 2009

The Club Secretary, Colleen Kerr, and Club President, Gordon Sutherland, were invited by our member June McCrorie to play for the Cameo Group of St George's Church in Takapuna. DSCF1072 What a great group of people, Colleen and I both stayed all the way through even though we were the first 'act' and given what fun we had what with Stephen Beech giving an impromptu theatre organ style performance on the biggest Rogers Organ in New Zealand - made my little Korg feel a little inferior in horse power! I played four pieces on my Korg Pa1X and then Colleen played two pieces on the beautiful Kawai grand piano and then we did two numbers as a duet using the Korg and the grand piano. Thank you June and the team at St George's for a wonderful evening and making Colleen and I feel so welcome.

By the way, 'Cameo" stands for "Come-And-Meet-Each-Other" - pretty neat eh!


Gordon playing his Korg Pa1X against a backdrop of the mighty Rogers organ. Although playing "Exodus" fortunately the Church did not empty! Encouraged by this, he followed-up with "King Of The Road" with vocals!, "Morning In Cornwall" by James Last, and finally, "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square" replete with Nightingales singing in the background!

Photo courtesy of Colleen Kerr



Colleen Kerr playing the lovely Kawai grand piano. Colleen played "Cavatina" and "Moonglow" and it sounded really 'grand'.

Photos left and below courtesy of Lesley Mitchell







                  Colleen and Gordon played "Crazy" and "From Russia With Love" for the duets above.

IMG_1617           IMG_1618

Highly respected and resident organist at St. George's Church, Stephen Beech, treated the Cameo Group to some great impromptu theatre style songs. What a gorgeous sound when played by a 'master'.

Photos of Stephen courtesy of Colleen Kerr

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Coffee Day 16th March 2009

Another great Coffee Day! 21 Members enjoyed the music, weather, food and jolly good company. The day started with Colin and Yvonne turning-up about 9.30am to make sure the Yamaha DGX620 88 weighted key digital piano was installed and up-and-running before the members started arriving at about 10.10am. DSCF1053It is amazing how you can cram 21 people, two keyboards and a full length digital piano into one lounge - but it all seemed to work OK with the french windows opened up onto the front deck for overflow.

Colin Crann helping Marlene Forrest and Phyl Briscoe set-up the Yamaha DGX620 for their practice session prior to the rest of the members arriving. The duet went very well, well done ladies and good work Colin for tweaking the sounds.

It was good to see new member Roy Evans and his wife Evelyn attend their first Coffee Day and ditto for Des Rouse. DSCF1054With Colin Crann kindly bringing his piano, it meant that we were able to hear some duets on piano and keyboard and some impromptu jam sessions and not to mention a duet by Marlene Forrest and Phyl Briscoe on the piano (well seated at the piano not on it!).

Roy Evans seemed very much at home on the piano. Roy has a piano at home plus a Rogers organ.

All in all a lovely day so thanks to all those that came along and made it such a great occasion and thanks for all the lovely vitals and a special thanks for all the assistance with kitchen duties - you can't beat 'analogue' dishwashers!

Here are some more of the shots taken of this fun day.




All the practice and preparation work before the start of the Day paying off with a great duet performance by Marlene and Phyl.








Colin Crann gave us a great performance with his mastery of the piano evident in the smooth playing and great sound variations that he gave us.





 Marlene - CCrann

Marlene Forrest went 'solo' on the Tyros and a pretty nice 'flight' too - thanks Marlene! Mind you Marlene has a Tyros 2 at home to enjoy.

Photo courtesy of Colin Crann.







Jam sessions as well! Courtesy of Rob Powell and Marlene Forrest. With Alan Wilkins obviously ecstatic with the music.




Des Rouse entertaining us on the Yamaha Tyros. Des has a Yamaha PSR3000 at home and so driving this 'baby' is pretty similar.









Shot of the day! Skip having a ball with the Korg Pa1X and sounding pretty good too!







Barbara Powell playing some lovely songs on the Tyros. Barbara is a lucky girl with a brand spanking new Tyros 3 at home!







Club Secretary, Colleen Kerr, thrilling us with her lovely piano style of play and enjoying the 'touch' of the DGX620.








Littlejohn - CK  Peter Littlejohn played some great modern numbers like "Night Birds" from Shakatak on the Korg Pa1X. Very nice Peter, I suspect Peter was inspired by his recent house guest, Mari, from Japan who played this number (the Japanese script is a dead giveaway). Good stuff Peter.

Photo courtesy of Colleen Kerr.







Rob Powell showing playing the Tyros. Rob can just about make the thing talk with his mastery of the functionality of the Yamaha keyboards and Clavinova range of instruments.





Some general shots of the members relaxing and enjoying the day.





Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Club Night 3rd March 2009

Arrival music was kindly provided by Adrian Blok who has a Technics organ at home and has his own unique style of 'playing by numbers'. However Adrian does it, it sounds pretty good and we appreciate the practice you had put in Adrian as Trudy tells me you were very nervous about playing for your Club friends. You needn't have worried Adrian, we enjoyed your music very much.


Ninety-odd years young and showing us his years of experience and love of music - Adrian Blok!


Club Night was our AGM and so the evening commenced with the AGM which lasted about 45 minutes. We were sad to lose Phyl and Jack Briscoe from the Committee after many years of devoted service to the Club looking after kitchen duties but they assure us they will remain loyal members of the Club.IMG_1221 However, it was very pleasing that Delyse Whorwood has accepted the nomination to the Committee and will take over the kitchen duties with kind assistance from Barbara McNab and Marlene Forrest. Thank you Delyse, we know you are a busy lady with the other charitable activities that you undertake.

Retiring Committee Member Phyl Briscoe receiving flowers and appreciation from Club President, Gordon Sutherland, for the wonderful years of service to the Club managing the logistics of kitchen duties with husband Jack Briscoe who is also retiring from the Committee. Thank you both most heartily for all your devoted service.
Photo courtesy of Club Secretary, Colleen Kerr.

It was very pleasing to reward our past-President and his wife with Life membership of the Club. George and Jean Watt have given many years of devoted service to the Club as well as volunteering to play for the St Anne's Club for the Blind over many years. George and Jean continue on the Committee and continue to do a great job at the entry door welcoming our members and visitors as well as organizing the raffle and looking after the members' names badges. We wish you many more years to enjoy the wonderful world of music.


George & Jean Watt receiving Life Membership congratulations by  Club President Gordon Sutherland. Photo courtesy of Club Secretary, Colleen Kerr.

Because of the AGM, the evening was truncated somewhat but nevertheless it was pleasing that we had 36 members present and 3 visitors - thank you for making the effort to attend and thus ensuring that we had a quorum to conduct the AGM. DSCF1024 

Trudy encouraging husband, Adrian, as he plays the arrival music for the Club for our half-hour prologue. 

To get the show on the road, Marlene Forrest, long-time member of the Club and President of the Creative Keyboard Club of Browns Bay, entertained us on the Clavinova. DSCF1025 Marlene has a Clavinova CVP-307 at home and so she was well able to play a couple of pieces making use of the rhythm and styles built-into the Club's digital piano. Very smooth and enjoyable as always Marlene - thank you.

Next up we squeezed-in a visitor from Japan, Mari, who entertained us on the Club's Technics GA3 organ with the assistance of Peter Littlejohn who helped push the buttons to orchestrate the music for Mari. DSCF1026 It was really entertaining to have Mari play the upper manual melody line whilst Peter played the chords on the lower manual - very nice, I don't remember the GA3 being used for a duet before! Mari then went 'solo' for three quick numbers including a popular Japanese song. Really lovely Mari.


We wish Mari a safe trip back to Japan in about a weeks time and hope she will visit us again some time in the future.

After a refreshments break it was time for the raffle draw. A set of hand-turned wooden containers made by member Colin Crann and donated to the Club for raffle prizes. The prize was won by Aileen Davidson - well done Aileen and thank you Colin for your generous donation to help Club funds. Gordon Sutherland, Club President, reminded everybody that we have an invite to the Organ Society of NZ Inc in April and an invite to the Creative Keyboard Club in June. More details can be found in the right-hand resources column if you scroll-down to our Club's Musical Activities Calendar.

Next up to entertain us we had Ngaire McRae who played the Clavinova in straight piano fashion and very nicely too - well done Ngaire. Ngaire had been suffering from a cold so it was appreciated that she made the effort to attend and play her committed slot.  


Again, Len Osbourne had a house-full of family visiting for dinner which meant Len was double-booked as he had kindly accepted the invite to play at the Club. So once again, thanks Len for making the effort to come along and thrill us with your great mastery of the GA3 - Len has one of these babies at home (a GA1 I believe).DSCF1030 I hope dinner was not dried-up (or all eaten-up) by the time you got home!



Thanks Len - always a pleasure to hear you play for us.




Next to play for us was Ian Jackson, Ian is a very modest fellow who insists that he is announced as first and foremost a drummer not a pianist. All the writer can say is that if learning to play the drums will make me sound as good on the Clavinova then bring it on! Ian has his own instinctive style of playing and concentrating on a blues style with lots of individuality thrown-in - it is always a pleasure to hear you play Ian (piano or drums) so thank you once again for thrilling us. Must have been good as "Noddy's" head and feet were gyrating to the beat! (Don't even think of asking!).


Last and certainly not least, it was a pleasure to invite our past-President and newly designated Life Member, George Watt, to play for us. DSCF1033 George chose to play the GA3 this evening and selected a couple of pieces by Tony Back. It was a lovely nostalgia trip back about 15 years ago when Tony Back came over to NZ to promote the Yamaha EL series of organs for Music Houses of NZ Limited (the local Yamaha agents). The writer was honoured to receive follow-up hand-written music scripts from Tony over succeeding years and it is sad that Tony prematurely passed-away about two years ago. Anyway, thank you George for the 'memory' and your superb interpretation of Tony Back's original compositions. A fine way to round off a great night of music albeit a little abbreviated by the necessity of the AGM.