Local ensemble to perform final concert
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.
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.