Music club’s fall concert deserves praises

Published 1:58 pm Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Foothills Music Club’s Fall Concert at ICC was rather sparsely attended, possibly because it had so little advance publicity. Unfortunately, the audience was not large enough to give the thunderous applause we would have liked to offer . . . what we managed to generate was not much above the polite variety!

Karen Molnar opened with capricious and witty “Etudes in Spring” by one Melvin Solomon, that included pieces evocative of the squirrel and the duck. The bassoon readily lends itself to comedy, and Karen enjoys making her virtuoso performances sound easy.

Violinist Ivana Carlson played a Bach Adagio, which again is a lot more difficult than she made it sound, what with all those octaves and other intervals that came and went so fleetingly. Her bowing was strong and accurate, her intonation perfect, to my ears.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Marcy Hagen sang a couple of favorite show tunes, ably accompanied by Jeanette Shackelford. More show tunes were later offered by a quartet of melodicas (these things are new to everyone, including the players . . . they might be described as recorders with keyboards) . . . Dick Bayley switched to his ancient saxophone to intone What a Wonderful World, also accompanied by Ms. Shackelford.

Mother and daughter team Fran Creasy and Elaine Grella played another favorite, the Flower duet from Delibes’ Lakmé. Elaine later played Rutter’s “Suite Antique,” so named, I suppose, because it seemed to suggest that it might be by ol’ JSB himself. Karen Crutchfield played a thoughtful, balanced accompaniment for them.

Colton Bohon came in at last minute, played Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag for us, and left before I could tell him that I enjoyed it. Looking forward to hearing him some more.

Ah, yes, and Jacqueline Wasniewski sang the thrice familiar Ständchen for us. A music critic once wrote “There will be many composers of songs, but there will never be another Schubert.” Ms. Wasniewski was not only master of the enchanting melody, but she also managed the German text quite admirably, I thought. Ms. Shackelford again did the honors at the piano. 

Co-founders Lesley Oakes and Kathleen Erwin were there to enjoy yet another program by their protégées. The club’s purpose is to encourage musicians otherwise occupied to maintain their chops by giving public and private performances. A scholarship program started in 1994 has awarded more than $40,000 to promising high school students, as Ivana and Colton today, to assist in their musical studies. If you missed the program today, you may send your contribution for scholarships to Foothills at POBox 463, Lynn NC 28750.

Garland O. Goodwin, Columbus, N.C.