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First USA Concert Review Arrives

The McCallum Theatre Presented:
Hayley Westenra

Palm Desert, California

February 9, 2002

William McCaleb kindly sent in the following review of Hayley, Sophie and Isaac's McCallum Theatre performance. He was extremely lucky, in that he managed to obtain a centre seat on the front row. From there he was able to get what was, perhaps, the best view of this rising new star, during her USA Première performance. This is the first ever concert review outside of New Zealand and Australia (in so far as I am aware) and, as such, we are pleased to have been given the opportunity to present it here first. If you'd like to copy it to your own site, please feel free to do so. All we ask is a little mention of from where you obtained it and - most importantly - who wrote it.

Thank you, William - and over to you...

Hi All,

Well, I made it back home. Was driving six hundred miles, for Hayley's concert, worth it? !!!You Bet It Was!!! "Awesome!" doesn't say enough. Not only Hayley, but Sophie was incredible while singing a duet, of Panis Angelicus with Hayley, and a solo of Thank You Stars, that were both superbly done. These sisters were joined by their little brother, Isaac, who was cute and slightly inaudible during the two songs he was involved with. Unfortunately, they did not play their instruments.

And the 15 year old violinist, Ben Morrison, had everyone sitting dumbfounded. His use of finger and bow were magical. He's, also, a bit of a joker. Each of the pieces he played had a false end, so everyone would begin an ovation early, before the song was over. He and the conductor, David Selfe, were enjoying themselves over this. If Hayley continues to tour, hopefully she'll be smart and keep him along for the ride.

And then there's Hayley. No, Keith, I wasn't looking to change allegiances, but to add yet a new one. And, yes Simon, I did enjoy myself immensely. (Unfortunately, no type of audio or visual recording equipment of any kind. Sorry.) I think the unveiling of this talented young lady, onto the United States, was a stupendous success. Her clarity and pitch were near perfection. Captivating.

On my way there, I stopped at a little Indian trading store. I bought a little statuette and, just before intermission was over and Hayley was about to appear, I placed it on the stage at the foot of the microphone. (Remember, front row center. The only thing in my way was the microphone stand. Hayley is pretty trim, you know.) It stood there through the rest of the concert. All of them noticed it.

Now my negative side. They closed the curtains and my little "Welcome Here" present still stood there. I ended up retrieving it and searching to see if I could give it to her. I was told that she would be signing autographs at the stage door.
Here I did meet Ben Morrison and was stunned to find out otherwise on Miss Westenra's plans. It seemed that there was a "PRIVATE" party being held on the upper floors of the theatre and Hayley would be unable to be available. "!!!!EXPLETIVE!!!!" You would think that the "powers that be" would want her to be able to encounter newly aquired fans. But, noooooooo, that would be logical, wouldn't it? So, anyway, I give the statuette to Ben and ask him to tell her that I hoped it made the concert more comfortable for them and that I would like to ask for some autographs. He said that he would (I did find out later that, indeed, she had received it.), but then that's the last I heard of them. Security did tell me that it would be about an hour before she would leave. So, I waited. And waited. And waited. Two hours later a guard tells me that they had left out of a different door. I was truly devastated. It made for a, somewhat, somber drive home and a sobering effect to an incredible high.

I was, also, hoping that she would have been selling some of her CD's. Not a thing. Just a flier that gave you her website. Good way to market her, duh! Max Jarman was selling CD's. Even some of the guys in the orchestra were selling CD's. Opportunity missed there, guys.

All in all, I'm still glad that I went and that I can't wait to have the opportunity to do so again. Recommendation: A "Must See" at the soonest that you are able.


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