Foothills Music Club January Meeting

Published 11:01 am Friday, February 4, 2011

First row, from left: Petra, Alex and Eric Harrelson and Jamie Riedy. Second row, from left: Maggie Riedy, John Hugill and Kate Riedy. (photo submitted)

by Elizabeth Gardner

The January meeting of the Foothills Music Club was held at the home of Mary Meyers and Robert Linder on Thursday, Jan. 20. After a brief business meeting a musical program titled “Oh What a Year!” was presented by club members and guest musicians.

Seated: Peter Kutt and Mimi Child Traxler. Standing: Robert Linder and Elaine Jenkins. (photo submitted)

Mention was made of the scholarship auditions scheduled for early March, for high school music students in Polk and Rutherford counties in North Carolina and Landrum, S.C. Applications must be postmarked by Friday, Feb. 18. There is further information in an article on page 12 of the Wednesday, Jan. 26 Bulletin. The awarding of scholarships to deserving young local musicians is one of the reasons for the existence of the FMC.

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Robert Linder, baritone, opened the musical program with “September Song” from “Knickerbocker Holiday” by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson, followed by Mary Meyers singing “I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore” from the 1958 film “Gigi.” John Hugill, baritone, then joined Meyers in a duet, “I Remember It Well,” also from “Gigi.”

Hugill explained that he had dreamed of singing opera for most of his life, but medical school and his career as a plastic surgeon took all his time. Dr. Hugill will appear as the funeral director in the upcoming Tryon Little Theatre production of “Oliver!” Meyers and Hugill closed out the first part of the program asking and answering the question, “Do You Love Me?” – a song from “Fiddler on the Roof.” Peter Kutt provided piano accompaniment for the songs.

Elaine Jenkins, soprano, with Mimi Child Traxler at the piano, performed three songs by Franz Schubert – “Laughter and Tears,” “The Rose on the Heath” and “Gretchen at the Spinning-wheel.” Jenkins noted that Schubert, one of the most prolific composers between the Classical and Romantic eras, was only 31 when he died.

In the next part of the program special guests, all students of Mary Meyers who will be appearing in “Oliver!,” presented songs from the musical. The most creative from an ad hoc casting perspective was the song “That’s Your Funeral,” sung by Dr. Hugill as the character Mr. Sowerberry, the funeral director, Alex Harrelson as Mr. Bumble and Eric Harrelson as Oliver.

Of the three singers, only Dr. Hugill was singing the part which he will sing in the February production. The part of Mr. Bumble, the middle-aged workhouse superintendent, was sung by Alex Harrelson, who is 11 years old. In all, seven songs from “Oliver!” were presented. Performing in addition to those already named were Petra Harrelson, Jamie, Maggie and Kate Riedy and pianist Peter Kutt.

The program concluded with two piano pieces performed by Peter Kutt: An arrangement of the 15th century French hymn-tune “O Filii et Filliae” by Donna Robertson and Rachmaninov’s variations on Chopin’s “Prelude in C Minor.”

There will be a public concert of organ music at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Mar. 10 at the Tryon Presbyterian Church, part of the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the Town of Tryon. The concert will be free; however, donations towards the FMC Scholarship Fund will be welcome.