Three generations of family to perform in special PMB concert

2014-10-02 00:00

THREE generations of singers from one family will be performing in a special concert in Pietermaritzburg this weekend.

John Butler and his son, Andrew, are both well known to audiences in the city, both having performed in Handel’s Messiah many times.

Andrew will in fact be singing the oratorio with the Pietermaritzburg Amateur Music Society (Pams) choir and the Pietermaritzburg City Orchestra in the city hall on November 16.

On Sunday, however, he will be joining his parents, John and Shirl, his wife, Belle, and their daughters, Lauren and Angela, and his sister, Shereen, and her daughter, Madison, for the concert in the Wood­grove Hall at 4 pm.

The children will each perform a number of solos.

Madison (nine), a pupil at Wykeham Collegiate, will perform I’m Wishing from Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah from Disney’s Song of the South.

Seven-year-old Lauren, a pupil at Athlone, will be singing Someday My Prince Will Come from Walt Disney’s 1937 animated movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Wouldn’t It Be Loverly, written by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe for the 1956 Broadway play My Fair Lady. And her little sister, Angela (five), a pupil at Settlers Park Pre-Primary, will sing Little Sir Echo.

Angela and Lauren will also sing Sisters from White Christmas.

Asked how the concert had come about, John said: “It was born out of a consistent nagging from our grandchildren to ‘do another concert so we can sing again on stage’. Shirl, thus, decided to incorporate our children and us to support them in this venture. It’s just a natural progression for people who love to sing.”

That love of singing and performing started at an early age for the Butler clan. “We all started singing when we were little,” Shirl says, “It’s been a natural thing.”

In fact, Andrew was so interested in his dad’s performances that he knew all the opera songs in John’s repertoire and would reprimand his father when he got them wrong.

Both Belle and Shereen have also sung from an early age, and their children are following in their footsteps, performing in shows at school.

“The greatest delight is that we can perform with our kids. … whether they like it or not,” said Shirl.

Tickets for the concert, which will feature accompaniment by pianist Mary-Anne Genheimer, cost R40.

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