None of us is born a pro. It takes practice, hard work and perseverance to become a professional in any field. That much was demonstrated at the Beatles Tribute concert last Saturday night at the Saint Lucia Yacht Club, organised by the Saint Lucia School of Music (SLSM), when seasoned, professional musicians wowed a full house that had been warmed up by students of the SLSM.
The Beatles rocked the world in the 1960s. Most members of the audience were of an age to have followed the band’s early days and its phenomenal, unprecedented, chart-topping success on both sides of the Atlantic. No wonder the middle-aged attendees, mouthing the words to all the songs, enjoyed the show. “We got a big bang for our buck!” and “That was so cool! Let’s have a Beatles concert every week,” were some of the praises overheard.
At the other end of the age scale, probably most of the students had never heard of John, Paul, George and Ringo before rehearsing for this concert. One hopes that they were at least already familiar with a tune or two from the collection of eighteen Beatles classics presented during the evening.
There were many musicians on stage, including the school’s students, mentors and faculty plus the professional performers. The marvelous Skip Monday band and the other guest performers played and sang with infectious energy.
Richard Payne, the Executive Director of the SLSM, deserves special mention, not for his sterling work at the helm of the school, nor for his drive and determination in enabling students to progress in their music studies; on this occasion it was for his crowd-pleasing performance on the keyboard; clearly an ardent fan of the Fab Four!
The concert was a fund-raiser for Coman Fevriere, a cello student at the SLSM who has been awarded a tuition scholarship at North Park University in Chicago, Illinois; the money raised will assist with his living expenses.
Mr. Payne highlighted that there is a critical shortage of music teachers and he expressed the hope that Coman, and others like him, will return in due course to continue the process of helping aspiring musicians to become proficient. As vocalist Maria Lamontagne pointed out, “Today’s youngsters are the professional musicians of the future,” so let’s give them encouragement and support—aid them to ‘get by with a little help from their friends’.