Oh, what a night ... but it wasn't late December back in '63, but April 6, 2019. What a very special time for me and for the close to 400 people from our valley and surrounding areas who were fortunate enough to attend the concert at Stockton Hall given by the Bellingen High School Jazz Band with guests, brothers John and James Morrison and Jacki Cooper.
Such was the quality of entertainment that one wondered if the best was over at interval.. However, we were far from disappointed as the performers continued to excel after the break. What an amazing array of vocal and solo instrumentalists were featured, all backed seamlessly by the band. After nearly three hours of music and acclamation, the finale, an instrumental version of Macarthur Park resulted in a standing ovation for all the performers.
I've been to several shows in Sydney in the last 12 months and this concert was certainly on par. The positivity in the hall cannot be overestimated.
Who do we thank? Obviously, the local performers, the Morrison Brothers and Ms Cooper. However, the person to whom we owe our greatest gratitude has to be Ann Phelan. What an amazing teacher who has obviously goes over and above. Her enthusiasm and obvious passion for music has been inspirational for more than a decade, for so many. Ann's joy shines through in her leadership as does her self-effacing modesty when one approaches to offer congratulations. Yes, I know Ann has the support of an amazing array of people, but without her initial catalytic input and continued exuberance and energy would Saturday night have been possible?
I can only offer my personal thanks Ann, but I'm sure I speak on behalf of many.
With GREAT appreciation,