Review by the Vernon Morning Star
The North Okanagan Youth Showcase of Excellence (NOYSE) was “absolutely phenomenal,” according to Gillian Thompson, one of the more than 300 audience members who attended the show Sunday at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre.
“The range of talent took my breath away,” added audience member Marie Morris. “I loved it. I was totally impressed and I’m going to have to watch the progress of these fabulous young performers in the future.”
Put on by the North Okanagan Community Concert Association (NOCCA), the inaugural event featured young performers from Lake Country to the Shuswap, ranging in age from 11 to 22.
Participants included Brent Matterson (guitar), Brandon Schmor (boogie woogie piano), Megan Van Den Maagdenberg (vocals), Aria Izik-Dzurko (ballet), Holly McCallum (cello), Kendra Jones-Munk (ballet), Anastasia Martens (cello), Jaeden Izik-Dzurko (classical piano), Jonathan Fraser-Monroe (theatrical dance), Hana Friedman (modern dance), and piano trio Melanie Shum (piano), Alyshia Black (violin), and Mark Casson (cello).
World-renowned Vancouver pianist Ian Parker braved the Coquihalla highway on Sunday morning to host the show as emcee.
“I was absolutely blown away by the level of performance that these kids put on,” he said.
Local musician and instructor Henry Piovesan was also impressed by the young talent on display.
“The NOYSE youth performances were captivating and it is great to know that in this age of instant gratification there still exists a discipline known as practice,” he said. “The work and effort exhibited by these youngsters was evident and judging by the applause and ovations of the very full audience, I am sure this opinion was shared by the majority of attendees.”
NOCCA provided honorariums to all the performers.
“We wanted to showcase the phenomenal talent that our young adults can put on stage in a professional setting, and I think we succeeded,” said NOCCA president Paul Maynes.