"It's hard enough to express your innermost feelings without also putting them into lyrics for a song, so it is very special to have tonight three young local talents who can do that," said David Selfe, host of a concert held in Norsewood's Old Dairy Factory.
A keen talent developer, Selfe had been active since his move from Auckland to Norsewood, converting the old dairy factory into a home for his family and a performance venue.
He had been teaching music at Dannevirke and Havelock North High Schools when he encountered Elijah Graham and Rafly Ambadar and later made the acquaintance of 12-year-old Molly Pawson.
Selfe wanted to feature the talented trio in a concert, recently choosing the launch of Graham's first CD as a good opportunity. Such was the popularity of the young musicians that the venue was close to capacity.
Graham had been working with Selfe to produce his CD, mixing work with a busy life in local theatre, directing his first play Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lilly.
Graham's CD, Moments, features eight of his original songs and three standards, Can't Help Falling in Love, The Rose and You Raise Me Up.
Four of his original songs he performed on the night of the concert to appreciative applause from a knowledgeable audience.
Selfe said, "for a young man to write these songs, arrange them, record them, multi-track, mix and master this CD all in five months is remarkable".
Molly Pawson had been tutored for several years by Helen Carver, both as a guitarist and singer. At 12 years old she is now an accomplished stage performer and chose to sing her own songs, My Darling and Who You Are, which were well received by the crowd.
Rafly Ambadar, originally from Indonesia, seized the opportunity at Havelock North High School to use the technology and tuition to perform.
He sang his own songs Falling Rain and The Mask They Wear.
The three young musicians came together after only a few hours' of practise to perform California Love to finish the evening.
Moments is produced by New Frontier Records and is available for $20 from Elijah Graham, phone 027 4642 840 or contact him on Facebook.