What People are Reading
- What a very sad and shocking
2 years 1 week ago
- Smart Meters
2 years 3 weeks ago
- 100 year old house burns
2 years 3 weeks ago
- Column 2-10 re Treason
2 years 13 weeks ago
- Radical Difference
2 years 13 weeks ago
- This activity is such a
2 years 22 weeks ago
- Okay Great we got a sign!
2 years 22 weeks ago
- Hate Crime a Sad Moment Indeed
2 years 23 weeks ago
More in Arts & Entertainment
Review/Holiday concert inspiring
COLLABORATION — From left, Ian Vail, Irina Kahn, Sophie Lawton, and Con Fullum pause for a moment before presenting their collaborative artistic effort at OHCHS December 9.
PARIS — "We hope this is the start of a relationship between music and arts." Those were the words that Irina Kahn, president of the Western Maine Art Group, used at the holiday concert on Friday, December 9.
Held at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, this particular concert didn't just feature the school's talented singers. Beginning at 7 p.m., the concert showed off the work of Paul Sullivan, a fantastic award-wining musician; Con Fullum, a singer/songwriter with amazing talents; and of course, the school's very own chamber choir.
"It's a rare opportunity for [Oxford High School] students to collaborate with musicians of this caliber," said Dennis Boyd, who was very excited about the concert.
Sullivan, an extraordinary piano player and songwriter, played several pieces during the performance, most of them quick-paced and complicated, showing off Sullivan's skill and talent. Fullum, a singer/songwriter, played pieces on his guitar that were humorous and toe-tapping and, at one point, had help from friend Maura Clarke, who sang and played her guitar as well.
The idea behind the concert began at a non-profit fair the school had a few weeks ago. Kahn proposed a plan to connect with the school about having a holiday concert. The concert featured Sullivan and Fullum, both of whom are from Maine and excel in their musical talents. Dennis Boyd, one of the high school's music teachers, had agreed, and so the concert was put together. The benefits of the concert also went to good use as well, going to Western Maine Arts Alliance and OHMAD (Oxford Hills Music Art and Drama), which “cover a lot of the bases the high school doesn’t,” as Boyd put it.
Held in the forum, the lights were dimmed, the spotlight set upon a few chairs, some microphones, three guitars, and a piano. The first singer was Lindsey Redgate, a senior at OHCHS and member of the chamber choir, who also writes songs and sings on her own. Redgate has been playing guitar for six years, and has been writing her own songs for four years.
Her first piece was Surrender, a song that she had written. As she played, you could see faces all around the forum smiling and nodding their heads. Redgate's voice is very mature, and with every song she got more confident in herself.
Her second piece was a "jazz arrangement," as she put it, of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." The song wasn't anything like the original, being fast, with lots of higher notes and drawn out words. Redgate's version was actually better than the original, especially hearing it from her. She has a voice that is original and new. She sounded great, and did wonderfully.
The next group to perform was the Oxford Hills Chamber Choir. Adorned in green, red, and white, with many Christmas hats perched on their heads, the group is made up of about 18 people; they are an audition performing ensemble, meaning that they got into chamber choir because they have good talent and beautiful musical ability. Their director is Dennis Boyd who began with "We don't have a guitar, we don't have a piano, we are a choir." Then the group began singing.
Their first song was "Oh come, oh come, Emanuel", a piece where the sopranos and altos sang almost hauntingly, their voices all tangling together to form one strong voice. The tenors and bassos sounded strong, like millions of drums beating all at once. They came together in one perfect, amazing song.
"It takes guts to stand with 15 other people with no drums or guitars or anything." Sullivan said. "My hat's off to them because they sound wonderful."
After that, Fullum came onto the stage, first playing a piece that was fast, with lots of finger-picking skills intertwined into the song. There were no words; instead the song bounced from fast, to slow melodic tunes, to fast again. It made your head bob and your feet tap, which was what several audience members were doing.
A few songs later, Maura Clarke joined Fullum. Clarke is a very talented singer/songwriter too, and she “used to play when I went to school here.” Together the two sang a song that was slow, sweet, and sad, about love. The two voices when they joined together, sounded like two people in love who were split apart, and there were tinges of sadness wrapped up with the passion with which they were singing.
Clarke and Fullum did a great job together, both of them were very talented. Yet, there was one more singer to join them. The “world-famous, world-renowned, world-traveled, and worldly” (as Fullum introduced him) Sullivan got up and started playing piano with the other two.
Next the chamber choir reentered, singing with Fullum to a "Maine Christmas Song." It made me proud of my state to hear everyone singing so joyfully and so wonderfully. Makes you proud of your school, too.
After that, Sullivan took the stage alone, playing fast complicated pieces on the piano. Even if one didn’t know Sullivan, you would see that he was very talented, and focused on his music. His head was slightly tilted to the right, his eyes closed, a smile perched on his face, you could really tell that he loves piano playing. The first piece played was “Love at First Sight” and the title fit the composition quite well. Love can be a crazy, complicated thing, and you can forget what you’re doing, and your feelings can get very mixed up.
With one last song about Maine, the concert was over. There were still many comments to be made about it though.
"I loved it; more should have come." said Nancy Forest. As the lights rose, she stood with Peter Lawton, clapping. "[The singers] are lovely, did a good job." agreed Lawton.
There were many other comments about the show as people left the forum, including a small crowd gathered around Sullivan, buying up the many CDs he had brought with him.
The show was wonderful, and you can plainly see that the chamber choir is working hard this year, and will go far if they continue working. Hats off to Paul Sullivan, Con Fullum, and Maura Clarke, as they are all very talented with what they do. If you missed the concert, then you missed out on a good show, but there's plenty more concerts coming throughout the year, so don't miss the next one.