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BMDS Summer Showcase: a student’s perspective

Performers at the BMDS Summer Showcase (Photograph by Anthony Rynne)

The Bermuda Musical and Dramatic Society Charitable Trust’s “Summer Showcase” held on June 8 at the Daylesford Theatre featured several of the island’s top young music talents, including students from local schools, as well as those pursuing undergraduate degrees abroad. Wherever they are in life, this clear display of mastery of their chosen craft can be truly described as a gathering of the future of Bermuda’s classical music scene.

The BMDS opened its doors on Saturday evening to a crowd of family, friends and music enthusiasts for what ended up being just over an hour of instrumental sound and song. The 12 young performers, accompanied by their mentors and teachers, managed to create a spectacular and engaging performance, helped along in no small part by showcase organiser and emcee Lisa Maule, who kept the whole enterprise firmly on track.

The programme for the evening included a list of 11 separate musical items, with several of the artists involved in more than one piece.

The night opened with the Introduction and Polonaise from Arabesken No 12 by Carl Böhm, performed by Oscar Regan on violin, with accompanist Kerry Haslam on piano. Utilising strong flourishes with his bow, Oscar made quick note changes showcasing his skills, before ending on a vigorous and triumphant note.

Tu Lo Sai by Giuseppe Torelli was performed by Euan Forster, his stunning vocals accompanied by Andrea Hodson on piano. Euan hit some incredibly high notes without strain, easily modulating his tone between higher and lower registers, and overall demonstrated great control and skill.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Otto Harbach and Jerome Kern was given wings in a fantastic flute performance by Abigaelle Champ, accompanied by Lisa Maule on piano. Abigaelle performed with elegant poise, executing a precise finger control that allowed her to end with a beautiful flutter, reminiscent of wings.

Violin Sonata No 3 [First Movement-Allegro] by Johannes Brahms was performed by Ava Gibson on violin with accompanist Anne Marshall on piano. Playing with exquisite composure and confidence like the seasoned performer she is, Ava produced a deeply emotional and impactful performance that resonated with a professional quality.

Ave Maria by Saint Saëns saw the return of Euan Forster, this time with ten-year-old brother Cameron, and accompanied by Andrea Hodson on piano. The duet gave this hymn just the right balance between gravitas and musicality, harmonising well and with great focus.

Double Violin Concerto in D Minor [First Movement-Vivace] by Johann Sebastian Bach was performed by Dylan Jeffrey and teacher Alison Black. Dylan’s many skills and talents contributed to a rousing performance, beautifully in sync despite different melodies, with perfectly blended harmony.

Blue in Green by Miles Davis was performed by Isaac Moniz on the piano. After a skilful start with a profusion of notes, Isaac demonstrated an incredible sense of timing and intentionality in his playing that emphasised the subdued energy of the piece.

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik KV525 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was performed by the Vivace Quartet, consisting of Bella Correia on first violin, Euan Forster on second violin, Prince Domingo on viola and Oliver Leverock on cello. The Vivace Quartet have been together since September and are coached by Alison Johnstone, this being their third public performance. Bella showed exemplary skill in leading the group, who in turn displayed stunning cohesion and harmony for such a short time together. Especially impressive was their delivery of the iconic theme, really doing the original material justice.

Out of Dreams from Oklahoma by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers was sung by Nadia Gibson, accompanied by Anne Marshall on piano. With a soft voice that lent itself to this piece, Nadia soared in the upper registers and revealed a wide vocal range.

The last duet of the night was Isaac Moniz on the piano, together with his brother, Joey, on the guitar. In their performance of Dreams by Fleetwood Mac, the brothers managed to encapsulate the ethereal quality of the piece well, with the guitar accentuating key parts of the tune at precise times. The second performance of Bob Marley’s I Shot the Sheriff was unique and unexpected being performed on a piano, but nevertheless managed to capture the bouncy vibe of the song and allowed the brothers to showcase their amazing talent.

Overall, a wonderful experience, and one I would highly recommend to any interested in the future of these young Bermudian musicians. Many thanks to the production crew for their hard work, and to the families and teachers of these future stars for their efforts in raising the next generation of performers.

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Published June 20, 2024 at 7:58 am (Updated June 20, 2024 at 7:38 am)

BMDS Summer Showcase: a student’s perspective

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