Lo­cal en­sem­ble to per­form fi­nal con­cert

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - NEWS - JOHN ALFSON SPE­CIAL TO THE INTELLIGENCER

Su­san Dawe ( nee Walsh) has been singing since she was a child and has par­tic­i­pated in many mu­si­cal pro­duc­tions through­out the Quinte area over the years.

Some 11 years ago, in­spired by thoughts of her mother, she put to­gether a singing group to per­form con­certs and raise funds for char­i­ties. Over the years, this en­sem­ble, called “For the Love of a Song,” has raised thou­sands of dol­lars for char­i­ties and sung hun­dreds of songs. Their songs are songs for all ages and in­ter­ests, bal­lads, jazz, mu­si­cals, com­edy and from across the years. With this year’s show, set for two per­for­mances, Fri­day, Dec. 1 at 8 p. m. and Satur­day, Dec. 2 at 2 p. m. in Maranatha Church, they get to per­form their “swan song.”

In a show called “the fi­nal per­for­mance,” the char­i­ties to ben­e­fit are Christ­mas Shar­ing and Adopt a Child. These home­grown tal­ents are not about to melt away, though, like snow­men.

“We’ll still be around and will con­tinue to per­form, but in a dif­fer­ent for­mat,” said Dawe at a re­cent re­hearsal. In fact, they al­ready have ten­ta­tive ar­range­ments for other types of per­for­mances in the fu­ture.

For this year’s show, timely spe­cial guests, in the wake of a re­cently pub­lished his­tory of The Com­modores Orches­tra for its 90 years of ex­is­tence, will be that ev­er­green pop­u­lar en­sem­ble. Oth­ers in­clude Tawny’s School of Dance, which has been part of the show for the past five years, lo­cal mu­si­cian Dave Reed and Gord Smith.

Tawny Jack­son will join eight of her stu­dents in colour­ful dance rou­tines ac­com­pa­nied by The Com­modores.

This year’s show will in­clude Broad­way show­stop­pers, Big Band era hits to ‘ 80s clas­sic rock, a com­edy skit on a Santa’s Work­shop theme and sea­sonal favourites, al­to­gether close to 40 songs, many of them re­lated to the yuletide sea­son.

The singing en­sem­ble also does chore­og­ra­phy and sing as soloists and duets plus full en­sem- ble. The per­form­ers are Su­san Dawe, Anita Half­penny, Kim Dafoe, Philippa Burkholder and Al Zaback. Each mem­ber of the troupe gets to sing so­los dur­ing the show.

“The cos­tumed Christ­mas work­shop skit should be great fun,” said Dawe, re­flect­ing on pre­vi­ous years, ” but this year’s skit will be up­dated and dif­fer­ent.”

The show will open with Broad­way show­stop­pers such as” Sin­gin’ in the Rain” and “If I Were a Rich Man,” sung by Zaback with dancers. Dawe her­self will solo on the beloved “Edel­weiss” from ” The Sound of Mu­sic,” ac­com­pa­nied on acous­tic gui­tar by Reed.

The Com­modores join in for the sec­ond scene with songs like “Cal­i­for­nia Dreamin,” “In the Mood,” ( with dancers) and “Sum­mer­time,” sung by vo­cal­ist Dafoe. Spe­cial guest for the Santa Work­shop skit is Smith as head toy­maker, who is also in­volved at other points in the show. The en­tire sec­ond half of the pro­gram in­volves Christ­mas sea­son favourites from the clas­si­cal “Oh Holy Night,” to con­tem­po­rary hits like “Mary Did You Know,” and “Sleigh Ride.”

Tick­ets are now avail­able at the Maranatha Church of­fice at $ 20. All tick­ets are good for ei­ther of the two per­for­mances for au­di­ence con­ve­nience. Tick­ets are also avail­able at the door for per­for­mances if seat­ing is avail­able. This year’s con­cert is spon­sored by Hanon Sys­tems Canada.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Anita Half­penny, Kim Dafoe, Philippa Burkholder, Al Zaback and Su­san Walsh per­form at one of the For The Love of a Song per­for­mances. The lo­cal troupe has en­ter­tained crowds in Quinte for the past decade and will per­form their fi­nal con­certs next month.

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