Michael Gabriel ... Strings Unlimited
Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 7:30pm / Avalon Theatre
The first blizzard of the season came and went, and Michael’s “Strings Attached” concert in Souris played to a full house. Accompanied by a pianist and three young women on strings, as well as the Souris Community Choir, audience members were treated to a thrilling evening of sound.
Michael had come to town on Monday to rehearse with the “backup choir”, a new experience for most of the Souris voices. But by Thursday evening, they were ready to “ooh” and “ahh” and sing their hearts out in support of this talented performer. They even sang two selections on their own, a 6-part version of ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’, as well as a heart-warming ‘When Christmas Comes’.
Although Michael Gabriel writes much of his own music, and arranges it for the various instruments and choir, he also added several cover tunes, adding to everyone’s enjoyment. And when Michael asked the audience to join him in singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah!”, the assembled voices added their own harmonies in the choruses, producing a warm luscious sound throughout the theatre, and lifting the spirits of all gathered.
On Friday, Michael and his guitar and his keyboard accompanist, Alex Alfred of Alabama, went to the Souris Personal Care Home to perform a few numbers as part of “Concerts in Care”. This programme, offered through the Manitoba Arts Network and working with the local Souris District Arts Council and the Souris PCH, facilitated the first of three artists to perform at our local PCH this year. Oftentimes, music can speak to seniors in our care facilities, perhaps triggering a memory, or giving them a sense of peace. This programme would not be possible without the generosity of the Thomas Sill Foundation, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Bank of Montreal, the Pollard Family Foundation, and Gendis Inc.
The Souris District Arts Council is grateful for the support they get in this community for their activities, and wishes everyone a song in your heart and a lilt in your step, as you share in the spirit of this Christmas season.