Re­cep­tion far from frosty

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Weekly Life -

builds comes to life.

Perth Symphony Orchestra (PSO) di­rec­tor Web­ster has dreamed of pre­sent­ing the Bri­tish Christ­mas clas­sic since start­ing PSO seven years ago and the Mos­man Park res­i­dent’s wish will come true with two con­certs at the orchestra’s Scotch Col­lege home in Swan­bourne on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 19.

“Ev­ery­one told me noth­ing would sell be­fore Christ­mas be­cause peo­ple would be too busy, but ticket sales would show they’re never too busy for Christ­mas,” Web­ster said.

The con­cert will fea­ture a screen­ing of The Snow­man along­side a live or­ches­tral per­for­mance of Howard Blake’s en­chant­ing score.

The key to the per­for­mance was find­ing a young singer to chal­lenge Welsh boy so­prano Aled Jones’ version of Walk­ing in the Air in the film and PSO did this through a ‘Search­ing for a Star’ com­pe­ti­tion.

“I knew we were go­ing to need a really great boy so­prano be­cause the voice singing Walk­ing in the Air is such an iconic part of The Snow­man,” Web­ster said.

“I thought if we got 10 en­tries I would be really happy but we had 44 en­tries and there was not one dud.

“We had tears rolling down our faces... I thought then and there if this orchestra didn’t take up all of my time, I would be start­ing a WA boys choir.”

Ini­tial en­tries were whit­tled down to 10 fi­nal­ists by the judg­ing panel of mu­sic ed­u­ca­tor Prue Ashurst, Trin­ity Col­lege head of mu­sic Robert Bra­ham and PSO chief con­duc­tor Jes­sica Gethin.

The fi­nal two, who will each sing in one per­for­mance on De­cem­ber 19, were 12-year-old Ciaran Pax­man and 13-year-old Lu­cas Stein­wan­del.

“We have two ab­so­lutely gor­geous boys who are go­ing to knock the socks off peo­ple,” Web­ster said.

“It’s such an iconic song and they stood out for their strong mu­si­cal­ity be­cause they’re go­ing to get one or two runs with the full symphony orchestra be­fore singing it to an au­di­ence of 700 to 800 peo­ple, which is a pretty epic thing at that age.

“They both had very solid per­for­mances. I’m really con­fi­dent they’re go­ing to bring the house down.”

Web­ster said the con­cert would close with a visit from Fa­ther Christ­mas, a per­for­mance of Do You Want to Build a Snow­man? from Frozen and a Christ­mas carol sing-along.

“Any boys in the au­di­ence who were part of the au­di­tion have been in­vited to the front of the stage to lead the first verse of the Christ­mas carol,” she said.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d447208

What: Where: When: Tick­ets:

Lu­cas Stein­wan­del (13), Perth Symphony Orchestra di­rec­tor Bourby Web­ster and

Ciaran Pax­man (12).

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