Celtic Fiddler Lizzy Hoyt Concert Review

Lizzy Hoyt has a sterling musical pedigree. Her father, David Hoyt, is one of Canada’s
foremost players of the French Horn as well as an orchestra conductor. Her mother, Janet
Scott-Hoyt, is an extraordinary concert pianist, accompanist and teacher. So it was not
at all surprising to see and hear her sing, play and dance on stage during her Home CD
release concert at McDougall United Church on Sunday, June 20.
What was surprising is, that for the most part, she is virtually self-taught as a singer,
dancer, guitarist and Celtic fiddler. She did receive disciplined classical training on the
violin from Suzuki specialist Yoko Wong beginning at the age of five. All that changed
when she discovered the folk heritage of her family’s culture. She developed her love of
Celtic music through her maternal grandfather and then pursued her culture and dream
with a somewhat fierce and dogged determination
Home is actually Hoyt’s second disk, but it is far and above a masterpiece compared
to her debut CD, My Red Shoes. The concert was a mixture of traditional and original
selections as well as covers of well-known tunes. Throughout her performance, she
called upon a series of special guest performers to join her and her band. The basic
ensemble featured Spencer Murray on Flute, Scottish Border Pipes, Whistle and Tenor
Saxophone; Clinton Pelletier on Guitar; Travis Switzer on standup Bass and Nathan
McCavana of ‘Cowboy Celtic’ on Bodhran. Guests included her cousin Becky Moonen
on Harmony Vocals; Keri-Lynn Zwicker on Harp; Anna McDonald, Step Dancer; Maria
Dunn on Accordion and her mother on piano.
Her programme consisted of selections from both albums as well as several independent
pieces (with instrumental as well as vocal sets) and gave the audience a wide variety
of the musical palette that is Hoyt’s forte. During the concert, she often provided
colourful background anecdotes related to the origins of many of her original tunes
– especially “Home” and “Vimy Ridge” – stories that were often touching. Her
interpretation of Jay Ungar’s “Ashokan Farewell,” accompanied on the solo piano
by her mother, was hauntingly beautiful. Selections that will not be found on either
of her albums showed the true variety of her skills and included “Imagine” by
John Lennon, “I’ll Fly Away” and her encore, “Londonderry Air/Danny Boy,” the
performance of which she dedicated to her maternal grandmother. Lennon’s “Imagine”
proved to be a refreshing jazz version.
Lizzy Hoyt is a clean and energetic player who performs with animation. In typical
Celtic manner, she likes to waltz or jig across the stage while playing or singing. As a
vocalist she sings with a pure, soaring soprano.
We wish her great success in her future endeavours.

more in Music Review     |     posted Aug 28th, 2010 at 12:13pm     

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