As the big blizzard was blowing its way toward P.E.I. last Friday night, Bluefield High School was in the midst of brewing up something fierce of its own.
And in that calm of the pre-storm eve, a fabulous program of entertainment was presented, all in aid of the Bluefield High School band.
“We’ve got a fantastic show for you tonight, and I feel sorry for the people who aren’t here,” the night’s emcee Ken Williams summarized well in his introduction.
Despite the ominous forecast on the horizon, it seemed that most knew the bad weather wasn’t due until later that night, as there was still a good crowd out for the fundraiser concert.
And there on the Bluefield cafeteria stage, the night’s first act came out to whisk us away to warmer times of days gone by as Bluefield band students Jenna Miller and Marshall MacIsaac rocked out a duo performance of Summer of ‘69 to kick off the show.
The great program continued with spectacular brief performances by Bluefield alumnus Meaghan Blanchard, the Bluefield improv group (who were hilarious), Brittany Banks (also a Bluefield alumnus) with Bobby McIsaac, Courtney Hogan (another Bluefield alumnus) with Mark Rooney and the eight-piece young Havenwood Step Dancers, the UPEI improv group (also impressively hysterical) and Sung Ha Shin-Bouey’s 13-piece Le Ragazze Choir, who sang three beautiful and spiritually-uplifting numbers as highlights of the concert’s second half.
But, unquestionably, the show was stolen near the end of the second half by a young fellow who was not even on the official program.
Simply listed in the program as “Joey Kitson,” the award-winning Island singer came out on stage not on his own, but rather with a very cool looking miniature Kitson beside him, who had a guitar in his hands. What we were about to be treated to was the performance debut of the duo of Joey and Julian Kitson.
And through songs such as Wagon Wheel and Sweet Home Chicago (complete with many a jaw-dropping blues lick on the acoustic guitar by the 11-year-old), the duo proceeded to wow us into a frenzy, as we were awestruck by this young player who seems destined for the same type of glowing spotlights that have shone upon his father’s career.
Leaping to their feet immediately after, the audience gave Julian Kitson a long and well-deserved standing ovation, which was just the first of two, as an impeccable solo performance of the beginning to Stairway to Heaven earned him another.
Needless to say, it was all certainly a tough act to follow, but if anyone could do it, then Cynthia MacLeod and Jon Matthews could.
On this note, I should also cite the recent news that Matthews will be P.E.I.’s newest winner of the ECMA’s Stompin’ Tom Award this year! Congrats!
And in a finale set of tunes, including Big John McNeil, St. Anne’s Reel and more, with the Havenwood Step Dancers coming out for one last well-received step, they wrapped up the Winter Variety Concert with a bang, to send us all heading off with a spring in our step to beat the storm home.
The next Bluefield event that you must keep in mind is Bluefield’s Mega Online Concert, where the concert band, the jazz band and Bluefield alumni will perform from noon through until 8 p.m. on Friday, March 1. And all of this will be viewable online with live streaming video, available on the school’s website: bluefieldhighschool.wordpress.com.
This epic, day-long concert will be in aid of the Bluefield High School band and, in particular, its trip to St. John’s, N.L., this April.
Next week: It’s time for something I’ve never experienced before. And it’s high time that I did — Indie Pop Night with DJ Bones at Baba’s tomorrow night.
Todd MacLean is a local freelance writer and musician. If you have a comment or suggestion for a review, you can get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 626-1242. But he won’t be offended if you don’t.
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