Smith Music students take to stage this weekend

Andrea Mallon and Paul Smith perform during the 2011 Smith Music Concert Series. The series returns this weekend with six shows over three days. – File Photo

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – The Smith Music concert series has become a Father’s Day weekend tradition in Morinville, providing music students at all levels with an opportunity to share what they have learned and the music school and its students with an opportunity to help the Morinville Food Bank Society. Simultaneously filling the soul with the sound of music and filling some bellies with food is a combination that will occur during six concerts set to take place June 15 to 17 at the music school.

Paul Smith, owner of the local music school, said while the main purpose of the concerts is to raise some cash and can goods for the food bank, the concerts provide his students the opportunity to showcase what they have learned during the preceding year as well as an opportunity to see what their fellow students and teachers have learned.

“It gives the students a chance to strut their stuff and show what they’ve been working on all year,” Smith said, adding each show will mix together highly-accomplished musicians, students just beginning, and those working their way between the two extremes. “We mix little kids, adults, all ages, all technical abilities, plus male and female because music tends to be very male dominated. It also makes it so we can mix up the shows where you have Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and then a Megadeth song, and then a classical show band piece.”

The formula has been a successful one for more than a decade, and one that keeps the performances non-competitive. The mix and match allows audiences to enjoy the slow methodical efforts of an elementary student on piano as much as the highly-dexterous manoeuvres of a high school guitarist.

Another concert series tradition will see Smith playing alongside teachers Christan Maslyk and Andrea Mallon. “I always wanted to see my teachers perform when I was a kid, and I never got to see it because most of them were performing in clubs where I couldn’t go,” Smith said, adding this year’s teacher’s performance will be a little unique. “We’re playing all the common songs that we teach, but the three of us are going to play them all at the same time.” That amalgam will include Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, Enter Sandman, and Sweet Home Alabama.

Smith said he has been doing the student shows for approximately 14 years. During that time he has found the concert performances help students overcome their stage fright and turn a terrifying experience into the feeling one gets after riding a rollercoaster, that feeling of wanting to get back on and do it all over again.

Show times are June 15 at 7 p.m., June 16 at noon, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and June 17 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Admission to the performances is a cash or food donation for the Morinville Food Bank Society.

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