The 3rd Fan Club Day on November 30th, 2019
The Gelukskinders 5th anniversary celebration cannot do without a party. This also applied to the 3rd fan club day. Fans from 13 different countries were present, as well as VIPs who contributed to the development of Gelukskinders or to Amira’s development in the artistic field. It was one big party thanks to the efforts of three main artists were to turn “De Warande” upside down the following day.
The fan club day did not start as planned. Anne Keizer wanted to “warm up” her fingers on the piano. Those present became quiet… What a feeling she can convey with her sounds!
After awarding the sponsor deal prizes, everyone went back into the room. Time to bring in the artists and their families. The Keizer, Acke and Willighagen families made their entrance with loud applause. Anne… even louder applause; Marjolein… ditto; Schilpaddie… also applause… Who did we miss? AMIRA, of course! The applause was so loud that people actually needed earplugs. The audience present were ready for it!
Anne kicked off. She played “Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis” insanely beautiful. With Anne at the piano, Marjolein sang “Halleluja” by Mozart, which is unparalleled when one also considers that it was the first time these two did it together. It testifies to the enormous talent of these two artists.
Finally, it was Amira’s turn. Anne made way for Mr. Willighagen. A sigh… if I still think about it. A good ten minutes of medleys from the Sound of Music musical. The applause that followed was corresponding! While Amira gave the best of the best, Fincent handed out small, self-made booklets containing short texts – the meaning of life for them.
The dinner was beautifully arranged by the hotel staff. The dessert was special. Six cakes with images marking five years of Gelukskinders plus one with flags of all nationalities present that day. After Amira was done presenting all kinds of gifts to organisers and board members, time was running short for the rest of the program. All the attending went back to the main room and while Amira started chatting with fans, signing things, posing for pictures, Anne and Marjolein weren’t forgotten either. They also got attention they deserved. It was 10:00 pm before we knew it. Anne and Marjolein were presented with some small thank-you gifts and they received a huge round of applause from everybody. Amira’s family got thank-yous and some gifts too. Sharing their daughter with the rest of the world is not easy. Fincent had to carry Amira’s gifts as there was one more thing that had to be presented to her. Without that item she wouldn’t have come at all – a bar of her favourite chocolate!
When the three superstars left, there still were the lottery and the auction to take place. Mister Willighagen wanted a painting so dearly that he started bidding too. Only one fan outbid him, but he gave it to Mr. Willighagen straightaway. A very nice gesture! Another nice gesture came from the one who bought the “Amira in Scottish Dress” painting. That painting is currently on its way to South Africa to embellish a wall in Amira’s residence.
All in all, a day to never forget.
Here’s an eyewitness report on that spectacular event, as provided by Siobhan Troddyn.
Hello again everyone at home. I thought you might like to know the program of the concert. As it was only written in Dutch, all I can give you is headings!
The first half:
Film of Gelukskinders which I see is already posted on YouTube.
A medley on piano – Anne Keizer in which she sang also.
Skyfall – James Bond – Cantabile children’s choir.
Zukazuma – The Lion King – Cantabile.
The Tree – The Hunger Games – Cantabile.
Amazing Grace – Amira – with lowland pipers.
Gabriella’s Song – Amira.
Nella Fantasia – Marjolein.
O Mio Babbino Caro – Marjolein.
Jerusalem – Amira (This was sung instead of Your Love which was written in the program).
Panis Angelicus – Amira, Marjolein and Marjolein’s brother Elewout.
Now, we had a 20-minute break. I am still absorbing the first half when we are all going back in for the second half of the concert.
The second half:
Medley – Anne Keizer.
Hejamano – Cantabile.
A Million Dreams – Cantabile.
Think of Me – The Phantom of the Opera – Amira.
Nessum Dorma – Amira.
Ave Maria – Franz Schubert – Marjolein.
Con te Partiro – Marjolein.
Stille Nacht – Cantabile, Amira and Marjolein joined by a girl from Cantabile.
The Flower Duet – Amira and Marjolein.
Mr Adams from Promosa School now at the end came on stage and spoke of how important the playgrounds were. Then flowers were given to all the performers and cheques for over E4,000 to both Gelukskinders and for Parkinson’s patients and the pipers played their way to the stage from the back of the audience. The stage by then was very colorful with all the singers and musicians and representatives of Gelukskinders etc. and I also must mention the lady compere who throughout the concert introduced each performance and happening in many languages for the multi national audience.
Afterwards as you see from the photos posted already, Amira spent much time, in her beautiful red dress, signing things and having her photo taken and speaking with everyone who wished, her smile as genuine for the last person as much as for the first. Also there was her singing teacher, a lovely relaxed person who was happy to speak with everyone as well.
I was personally very taken with Anne Keizer. The two medleys she played were gorgeous. She has a really beautiful touch and interpretations in her playing. I was really happy to meet her at last. I asked if she would post some videos online and she said she would maybe try to do that. I told her that many people looked for her but there are none. She is in third year now studying music and will graduate next year. I tell you also that the few photos you have seen of her online do not at all do her justice. She is so much more beautiful looking. A really nice person to talk to, with a gorgeous voice and I hope I see her play again in a concert with Amira.
Marjolein is amazing. She sang brilliantly. Such a small girl totally dedicated and confident in her singing. You see in the photos how gorgeous herself and Amira look together on stage. Her standing ovation was well deserved. It seemed like it almost surprised her… that she so quickly left the stage after it!
The children of Cantabile. Well they were great. There were many very young children included. All their songs were jaunty and delightful. A really well chosen repertoire by their conductor and teacher. And with so many onstage at the end it was hard for them to be seen at the back for the audience to give them a resounding applause which they deserved.
Amira – what can I say? That girl has so much stage presence and charisma that if she just stood on a stage holding a mike smiling, without singing a note, and not saying a word, the audience would still think they had heard something special! But fortunately, she did sing many notes for us and there is nothing I can say that you haven’t said already yourselves about that voice! So I just say ‘Wow’.
Now another performer I cannot leave out, and hard to do justice to him – is our own Nico. While not performing on stage yesterday, he and Mark and their team of helpers from the fan group were certainly performing all around the venue outside in the lobby all the time. All the amazing stands of photo boards of Amira and Gelukskinders were all transported from the fan day venue to the concert location and were a very impressive presence there. And programs, videos, CDs etc were being sold before, during and after the concert from the tables they had set up. Not to mention they were also behind getting all the gifts and flowers together and sorting the financial side of things for the cheques to be ready for donation onstage at the end of the concert etc . So to all those who had a hand act or part in helping the core organisers in making this weekend the wonderful experience it has been, you all deserve a massive applause, and Nico gets a standing ovation from fans worldwide!