Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Kerby Chorals Present: Alberta Afternoon

When Alison Demeter began instructing the Kerby Chorus in 2004, the class was a small group of seniors who did not necessarily have music skills, stage experience, or for some, even talent. As the members faithfully attended each week, Alison began to realize what this group did have to offer was an incredible love for singing, an endless amount of enthusiasm, and an unquenchable desire to perform.

After watching the film “Prairie Home Companion” in 2006 Alison could not shake the idea of writing a simulated live radio broadcast for the Kerby Chorus to perform. Combining ideas from “Prairie Home Companion” with her twenty-five-year love of CKUA radio, she introduced the concept to her class, and on June 7, 2008 the first performance of “Alberta Afternoon” was received with a standing ovation. With similar response to the 2009 Christmas and spring shows, audience members were also reported to have laughed and cried throughout the show.

Click here for a larger view of the poster.
“Alberta Afternoon” features a tapestry of commercials, stories, monologues, regular features such as “The Listener’s Corner” and special guest appearances woven together with familiar songs to form the broadcast. There are currently 17 regular performers in the Kerby Chorus ranging in age from 65 to 86 - each and every member valuable to the show in his or her own way.

Utilizing their quick wit and humor, it is with natural ease that both Allan Cloutier, a former jazz musician, and Dick Hehr, an “Elvis” impersonator, step back into their roles as hosts of “Alberta Afternoon” for the spring 2010 show. Making her debut in her role as the third announcer, former singer, Shirley Martin, will provide a good contrast to Allan and Dick’s flamboyancy.

Margaret Walker, Marion Taylor, Mary Young, and Tom Kosaka will join Shirley, Dick and Allan in utilizing their vocal talents as solo performers. While the newest member of the Kerby Chorus, Eileen Sutcliff, completes this group of soloists, she also contributes a flare for drama that is realized through monologues. The show could not possibly go forward without the remaining members who make up the chorus. They back up the soloists, participate in skits and commercials, take responsibility for the visioning of songs, and inspire others with their energy and solid commitment.

Although feature artists are invited to perform, the basis of the music that supports the Kerby Chorus is performed by a group of five musicians that range in age between 17 and 75. With piano, Celtic harp, mandolin, guitar, auto harp, bass, banjo, drums, harmonica and percussion to choose from, they provide a true “Alberta” sound that is never predictable.

The Kerby Chorals are currently working toward a new edition of “Alberta Afternoon” that will be presented on May 1st at St. David’s United Church and on May 15th at the Kerby Centre. Both shows begin at 1:30 and include refreshments. Tickets are $15.00 and are available at the Kerby Program Office or on-line at http://tickets.pumphousetheatre.ca

Here's what people have said about past shows...

“Alberta Afternoon has always been a favourite of ours. We decided to take my brother and his wife, visiting from Ontario, to the June show. They were as delighted as we were. We all loved the originality of the program, the humour, the enthusiasm, and the musical talent of the performers. We came away with our spirits uplifted, our hearts warmed, and our toes tapping! An entertaining and very enjoyable afternoon!”
Ruth and Don Dunsire

“Similar in structure to Prairie Home Companion this show provided wonderful, musical and humorous entertainment. I enjoyed every minute of the presentation. Bring the entire family. It's well worth it.”
Will Mehew

"It is increasingly difficult to find affordable entertainment the entire family can enjoy. This show fills the bill! The music was wonderful and the humour tasteful. Suitable for all ages, I highly recommend it."
Mairian Mehew

No comments:

Post a Comment