Monday, July 20, 2009

Coffee Day 20th July 2009


Carol Littlejohn and Peter Littlejohn jamming on the Korgs whilst the washing machine played on! Carol and Peter share the same surname but are not related. But music is obviously something else in common.


Oh what a day! A tale of two halves. The morning session was in Peter and Lizza Littlejohn's spacious garage. There sure was a choice to play as well, what with the: Korg Pa1X; Korg Pa60; Technics KN3000; and the Technics GA1 organ. It was great to catch up with Carol Littlejohn and her sister Gail. Carol is in town preparing to go on a cruise next week - lucky girl!
It was also nice to catch-up with Zak and Emily Bacon. After a sumptuous lunch downstairs, we all trouped upstairs into the lounge and dining areas where we had a Weinbach grand piano to feast on together with a Technics GA3 organ and Skip Eade's Korg Pa1X keyboard and not to be out-done, Ian Jackson brought along his drum kit to accompany the keyboard playing. For those that could remain, our hosts, Peter and Lizza then laid-on a great banquet in the evening. What a wonderfully memorable day. Thank you Peter and Lizza for your superb hospitality.


Carol Littlejohn, Peter Littlejohn and Ian Jackson jamming to our delight. Former Club President George Watt can be seen in the foreground with Delyse Whorwood studying some 'dots'.







Carol, Peter and Ian from a different perspective.






Emily Bacon enjoying the Weinbach grand piano.









Club Secretary, Colleen Kerr playing the Weinbach grand piano for one of several sessions on the day. In the morning Colleen entertained us on the Korg Pa1X arranger keyboard.







Ian Jackson got a good work-out accompanying all the keyboardist's to great effect!





Hey, that's not fair - a drummer that plays piano that good! Ian Jackson tickling the 'ivories'.






Ken Mahy giving the Korg Pa1X a go. Ken has been taking lessons with John Bercich for a couple of months now and boy the playing is improving in leaps and bounds - good stuff Ken.




Ken Mahy watched-over by Peter Littlejohn with Alvin Fitzgerald, Jeanette Beamish, visitor Val and Ngaire Lonergan listening on in the background.







Emily Bacon got a bit serious here What with Mr Beethoven on her left and Liberace's candelabra on her right!








Former President of the Club, George Watt giving the Weinbach a work-out.





George Watt playing the Technics GA3 organ. George has one of these 'babies' at home - lucky fellow!









Not to be out-done by Ian Jackson, Emily Bacon had a go at accompanying the keyboard player and did it very well too! Apparently, Emily has a drum kit which she brought from South Africa with her but has not yet had a chance to unpack it.






Skip helped Ngaire Lonergan set-up the Korg Pa1X for her session which was terrific. What a great player Ngaire is - so smooth!





A rose amongst the thorns? Not really all nice guys really! Here we see Ian Jackson and Skip Eade helping Ngaire Lonergan whilst she is quietly accompanied by the Club Treasurer, Jim Nicholson on the Weinbach grand piano.





Carol Littlejohn not only played the Weinbach grand for us but delighted us with her lovely voice as she sung along with many of the many pieces that she played for us on the day.



Carol Littlejohn accompanied by Peter Littlejohn on the Technics GA3.





Here we see Peter Littlejohn accompanying Carol Littlejohn on the Weinbach and Carol is singing also. Not to miss the opportunity, Skip Eade and Desiree Barrows gave us a great exhibition of the art of line dancing. Good stuff guys (and gals).







Getting serious now! Carol singing from the lyrics in the sheet music whilst Peter and Ian formed the rest of the band for this session.





What a gem! Peter and Carol duetting on the Weinbach grand piano. Delightful.







"Smile for the birdie" - Carol and Ian enjoying the moment.






Colleen Kerr gave us some wonderful music in the cocktail hour as we awaited the preparation of the evening's banquet. Colleen thrilled us with her semi-classical playing on the Weinbach grand piano. What was equally impressive was that Colleen managed to play some of her classical pieces from memory - no mean feat with pieces that she played such as: Autumn Concerto and Russell of Spring. Lovely music Colleen and played with great 'touch' and very well done for freeing yourself from having to read the dots!



IMG_2684     IMG_2692

Gordon Sutherland giving Ian Jackson's drum kit a 'going-over'. Looks pretty slick but... good job photos don't have ears! Photo courtesy of Colleen Kerr, Club Secretary.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Club Night 7th July 2009

What a great way to spend a winter's evening than with great company and great musicians! The Club was humming to the quality and variety of music provided. Jessica Chen, a renowned accordionist with international accolades entertained us at the start of the show - what a wonderfully talented young lady! IMG_2557 As an example Jessica won the New Zealand & South Pacific Piano Accordion Top Class Championships 2009. Jessica was 9th in the World for the Junior Coupe Mondiale in 2007. Watch out for Jessica at the World Championships that are taking place right here in New Zealand this year at the Bruce Mason Theatre, Takapuna, North Shore between 25th and 29th August.

 Club President, Gordon Sutherland, thanking Jessica Chen with a bouquet of flowers for her wonderful performance.

Photo courtesy of Club Secretary, Colleen Kerr.




DSCF1306  DSCF1307      

Jessica can be contacted for professional engagements or for teaching at: (09) 478 6644. Email address is: jessicachenisme [at]

Club members played a variety of keyboard instruments in the first half and followed by some slick, professional playing by Club professional musician, John Bercich and then Kane Steves from Music Planet, Orewa. To top it all off Kane and John then gave us an impromptu jamming session on the Clavinova and Korg Pa1X. A great evening thanks to the players, Committee and enthusiastic audience.

The evening started with Kane Steves from Music Planet turning-up at 7pm and as arranged he kindly brought a PA System for the Club to trial. The PA System would be very useful to boost the sound of the keyboards brought along to play and not all of which have the output capacity to fill the Clubrooms with a full and balanced sound. To settle us all in for a great evening's entertainment, Colin Crann did the honours with the arrival music which Colin did wonderfully well on the Clavinova and despite the PA System being plugged-in and mixed on the fly as he played! Well done Colin a polished performance as usual.




Colin Crann doing a great job for the arrival music on the Club's Clavinova CVP-305





Jessica Chen then opened the evening for us with three great accordion pieces one of which took us on a magical journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway!

After Jessica's stunning performance, Skip Eade then played his Korg Pa1X and play it very well he did indeed - thanks Skip.



Skip Eade playing his Korg Pa1X





Next up John Beales brought his Yamaha PSR S500 and it sounded really smooth as usual. Certainly the Wharfedale PA System that Kane Steves brought along at ht e Club's behest certainly helped to boost the sound to fill the large Clubrooms beautifully.







Ngaire McRae played some lovely music on the Clavinova including the superb George Gershwin number "Rhapsody in Blue". Thanks Ngaire, very nice. 







Not to be out-done by all the keyboard players, Len Osbourne played a couple of lovely tunes on the Technics GA3 - Len certainly brought out the gorgeous tones of the Club's organ. You can tell Len has a GA1 at home! Thanks Len you needn't have been so reticent you played just great!




After supper our President, Gordon Sutherland, played his Yamaha Tyros. This was the first time he has played at the Club this year and the first time in about three years that the Tyros has seen the light of day from its 'perch' in his lounge. With the Tyros plugged into the Wharfedale PA System the combined output of the built-in Yamaha amplification and the external Wharfedale Titan 12" speakers certainly gave a very rich and pleasant sound according to the audience.





Gordon Sutherland playing his Tyros

Photo courtesy of Colleen Kerr






 For the last forty minutes of the evening we were treated to some great music played firstly by our resident professional keyboardist, John Bercich, better known currently as the leader of the "Swingstarz" trio that play around Auckland for private functions and many of the RSA's. John gave us an impromptu performance on Skip Eade's Korg Pa1X and then played the latest 'baby' Korg the Pa500. Plugging the Pa500 into the PA System really showed off the pedigree of this great keyboard as it filled the Clubrooms with a gorgeous full and rich sound - I guess John's masterful playing helped a little also!


DSCF1314   DSCF1315


Next up, Kane Steves gave us a further demonstration of the wonderful features and ease of playing of the Korg Pa500 which uses touch screen technology so that what you touch on the screen is what you get - easy peasy! You noticed the difference in this large room when the PA System was turned-off (no criticism of the keyboard which is designed for the average size living room).


Here we see Kane Steves from Music Planet, Orewa showing off the latest Korg Pa500 and at a great price too for those in the market for a keyboard.



As a grand finale, Kane Steves was joined by John Bercich and we were treated to some great music with Kane on the Clavinova and John on the Korg Pa1X. Thanks guys for taking the time out of your busy professional careers to share your great music with your enthusiastic North Shore Amateur Organ and Keyboard Club.


We had two prizes for the raffle this evening, an egg poacher which was  won by visitor Laurie Conder and the other prize of a jig-saw puzzle was won by Aileen Davidson Jnr.

As always a big thank you to the organizing Committee of the Club for making the evening go so smoothly and enjoyably.