Centre Point: Practise does pay off

It feels like a lifetime ago that I was enrolled in piano lessons. I would later switch to guitar lessons, which did go a little further than piano ever did, although I would say both disciplines were unsuccessful ventures at best.

For me, it comes down to the golden rule of lessons: practise, practise, practise! Week after week and day after day I’d think up excuses, conveniently forget or outright refuse to practise.

I simply lack perseverance and follow through for such accomplishments.

Learning an instrument just hasn’t been my life-long passion. On top of that is performing, to which I aspire about as much as visiting the dentist or paying taxes.

Thankfully this world is full of arts students who, unlike me, have a passion for their respective craft. I truly admire those who’ve hung on long enough to make it to performance.

They’ve spent hours on end refining every detail to get to this point. The result is everyone’s chance to get out and see the results of all that relentless practise, practise, practise!

Today the Sadok Ukrainian Dance Ensemble is celebrating 12 years of dance with Dreamtime Downunder at the Performing Arts Centre. It’s an afternoon of dance, drama, Ukrainian spirit and heritage. Show time is at 2 p.m. and tickets are still available for purchase online at www.ticketseller.ca or through the box office one hour before the show.

Coming up  Thursday is Kalamalka Secondary School music department’s Concerto Juno at the Performing Arts Centre.

This year’s concert features the music of composer John Williams who is best known for his film and television scores. Pieces from Jurassic Park, Star Wars and Harry Potter are highlights of the program along with Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Admission is by donation and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

June 4 is Valley Vocal Arts’ sixth annual Broadway Babies production. It’s a show by kids, for kids and tells tales in musical theatre fashion. You’ll recognize hits from The Little Mermaid, The Sound of Music, Wicked, Aladdin and Annie Get Your Gun.

The show starts at 7 p.m. at the Powerhouse Theatre and you can call the Ticket Seller at 549-SHOW (7469) for your tickets.

And the Shuswap Okanagan Dance Academy is undoubtedly full of activity preparing for not one, but two upcoming performances at the Performing Arts Centre.

Dance for Dreams June 10 is a night of entertainment provided by SODA’s award winning dancers. It’s a fundraiser for the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Vernon branch, which starts at 7 p.m. and admission is by donation.

Dance Spectacular 2011 June 11 is a year-end recital featuring ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, musical theatre and contemporary styles. Tickets for this show go on sale Wednesday at the Ticket Seller.

At the end of the day, I think I make a much better audience member than performer. Better yet, anyone, regardless of talent or personality traits, is welcome in this club. Enjoy the shows!

–– Brian van Wensem is the audience development coordinator at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre. His column, Centre Point, appears every second Sunday in The Morning Star.