A fabulous showcase of talent
This program for performing seniors culminated in the Gala Concert on Sunday, 24 October in the Brisbane City Hall. The two-hour show titled ‘A Night At The Oscars’ was the result of months masterclasses, showcases and rehearsals. Many BUMS members participated in the program, with three being in the final concert.
The stage was appropriately embellished with special lighting systems and Oscar-like statues in front of the massive Father Henry Willis Organ. With COVID restrictions more relaxed than last year’s event, the circular auditorium was packed to the rafters.
It was a long day for the performers, organisers, band and crew. Soundchecks began at 10.00am and continued through to 1.00pm. There were a few tired faces but that couldn’t dampen the excitement and anticipation of all performers. Time only to grab a quick lunch, rest up, go over your performances privately and take in the ambience of the day.
BUMS members, Erin Harrington (Ukulele Mentor), Mick Angeles and Peter Vance performed in front of an audience of almost 1600. They were joined by Angela Toohey and Young Talent Time superstar, Karen Knowles as well as a cast of other senior performers. Based on the applause, the audience loved it.
Peter Vance (a regular at BUMS jams) has been involved with the program for many years and says he keeps on learning. He impressed with his vocals on ‘Love is a Many Splendored Thing’ (Oscar winner in 1955) and led the finale.
Erin Harrington played ukulele and sang ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ (The Lion King 1994). She demonstrated looping by recording vocals, percussion and ukulele on the fly so it sounded as if she was a small orchestra. The audience joined in, of course, and the auditorium rocked.
Mick Angeles dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and headdress joked he would play ‘Country and Western punk’ but instead performed a medley of ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ (Wizard of Oz 1939). His vocals and uke were beautifully supported by the backing band.
After all 16 acts were completed, the entire performing cast was ushered back on stage for the Grand Finale led by Karen Knowles and Peter Vance. They all danced and sang to “Fame” (Oscar winner 1980) which was a fitting ending for the day and had the audiences dancing in the aisles.
The seven-piece backing band were fantastic musicians and excellent accompaniment to all the performers. They provided Guitar, Piano, Basses, Drums, Trombone, Saxophone, Trumpet, Clarinet, Flute and Flugelhorn to the mix. The audio technicians provided an outstanding sound-mix for the audience and entertainers that made everyone sound like superstars. The photographer and video crew captured the excitement of the performers backstage and their performances with imagery will be released within a couple of weeks.
Finally, a special thanks to the Brisbane City Council for staging this production for the last nine years. Thanks too to the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Adrian and Nina Schrinner for taking time out to meet the performers backstage and supporting this wonderful charitable cause. An extra special thank you must go out to event organiser, Chris Fennessy of Epiphany Productions for all the efforts, trials and tribulations he overcame to complete such a successful undertaking.
Mick Angeles and Peter Grace
24 October 2021
Additional photos from Let Me Wander Photography