Melissa Venema - Trumpet

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Melissa From The Heart

Andre Rieu introduced us to Melissa Venema, a 13 year old Trumpet player way back in July 2008 on Maastricht II DVD.
Il Silenzio, a trumpet solo put Melissa in front of Andre, the JSO, & 15,000 people in the audience. When Melissa began playing, the audience, that was sitting around in restaurants, stopped eating, stopped drinking, stopped talking, & gave her their undivided & appreciative attention.
When I was watching & listening to Melissa for the very first time, I too, could hardly believe my eyes & ears & wondered how could such a lovely, petite young lady, play such a big trumpet. When Melissa hit that final high note & gave the audience a trumpeter's salute, the audience erupted with applause & admiration.
Melissa put a YouTube video on the internet of her playing Il Silenzio with Andre 2 years ago (2008). That video has been viewed more than 1,000,000 times as of earlier this month, August 2010.
Melissa wasn't through; she stayed on stage while Andre told us that Melissa wanted to play with him & the JSO when she is older & that "here is a little taste of what is to come in the future". At this point Rene & Roger, JSO trumpeters, joined Melissa & they played a spirited rendition of Buglers Holiday.
Andre mentioned that Melissa was seen playing cards with Rene & Roger (JSO trumpet players). I wondered which card games they played, & who won, so I asked Melissa's dad, "We only know that Melissa, didn't win"

I was also curious as to how Melissa came to Andre's attention. Apparently, Andre went to Melissa's website, listened to some of her music, & then contacted Melissa
through her website.

Blue jeans, appears to be Melissa's garb of choice when not performing, because this is what she is wearing in a lot of photos
I don't know about you, but I am unwilling to wait 2 or 3 more years before Andre releases another DVD here in the U.S.A with Melissa. I want to hear more of Melissa playing her trumpet, here & NOW.
To my surprise I discovered Melissa has recorded
  • MP3 recording entitled, "Melissa in Concert"
    consisting of 19 musical numbers


  • CD recording entitled, "Melissa from the Heart"

On the strength of my admiration for Andre's ability to spot talent & what I'd already witnessed, I purchased both of Melissa's recordings.
Here are my thoughts & observations about both of these recordings.
Melissa in Concert - MP3
I first ordered the MP3 recording "Melissa in Concert" & have enjoyed listening to it in the background while doing chores. I must confess, the first time I started listening; I stopped what I was doing, closed my eyes, & sat in a recliner simply listening.
Throughout all of my listening I can't help but marvel at the power & clarity of the notes Melissa plays whether it's a long note, or a triple tongue passage of notes.
#4 Ave Maria - As Melissa began playing, I thought of Carmen Monarcha (#20 Christmas Around the World - DVD) & Mirusia Louwerse (#8 Maastricht II - DVD), both of whom have sung the song as a soprano soloist. I thought of them singing along as Melissa played
#5 Don't Cry for me Argentina - I thought of Suzan Erens (#6 New York Memories - DVD) & would love to hear Suzan & Melissa team up on a duet of this song.
#6 The Last Rose of Summer - I thought of Teun Ramaekers playing this music on his fife & thought how much I'd like to hear a duet of Teun & Melissa .
#15 Once Upon a Time in the West - As Melissa played this I thought how beautiful it would be if Carla Maffioletti (#4 Romantic Paradise - DVD) could sing solo while Melissa plays.
#16 Romance voor Melissa - Ruud Merx, JSO trombone player, composed this for Melissa . I had no idea Ruud composed music & I can tell you listening to this is a MUST. To think Ruud thought enough of Melissa to take the time & trouble to compose music for her & then to think Melissa liked it enough to include her recording of this music, to me, is the highlight of this MP3
Melissa from the Heart - CD -- Keep in mind Melissa is a year older & more accomplished.
Melissa is accompanied by Cathelijne Noorland (website) a lovely, young, tall, talented, statuesque pianist with a big smile & dimples. Cathelijne's (pronounced Cath-a-line-ah) piano accompaniment enhances each musical selection. She can tickle the ivory in perfect time with Meliss'a triple tongue passages. It will be interesting to see if Cathelijne goes on to compete the International Chopin Piano Competition held every 5 years in Warsaw.

#7 My Heart will go on - When I saw this is one of the musical selections Melissa plays, I went straight to it & listened to it at least 6 times before I went back to the beginning.
#2 Il Silenzio - Each time I listen I can mentally see Melissa playing, on stage with Andre & can again & again see the rapt attention the audience gives Melissa.
Either # 2 or #7 should be reason enough for YOU, to order this CD.
#9 Dance Napolitaine - This is my favorite because this is something I can hum along with & dance to + it is a catchy tune that I really like. I'd never heard this before & I'll usually play it several times before going to the next musical selection.
#10 Trumpetconcerto, part 1 - Ruud Merx, JSO trombone player did the musical arrangement of this & 2 others on this CD
#11 Yesterday - Made famous by John Lennon/Paul McCartney & arranged by Ruud Merx. If you like this song sung by the Beatles, you'll love Melissa's trumpet rendition & will probably sing along.
#14 When I'm sixty four - Made famous by John Lennon/Paul McCartney & arranged by Ruud Merx. Another sing-a-long song & Melissa adds her personal touch to this memorable song.
All of the above are my own thoughts & observations, when you listen I'm sure you will have other songs that are your favorite. I hope you will share your thoughts about Melissa's music with us & with Melissa who is aware of this blog topic. We can only hope Melissa will decloak & say something.
Although Melissa is new to those of us that are Andre Rieu fans, she is not new to the musical world. Melissa has been playing Trumpet for 7 years now & her awards & biography is almost endless. You should take the time to get to know Melissa better by visiting her website. She has a guestbook that you should take the time to sign.

Melissa has a Facebook page which means you can ask if you can be her friend, if you have a Facebook page.
If I had the opportunity to raise my hand during an Andre concert & make a personal request, it would be a request that Melissa play JAVA, a musical number composed by the incomparable, Al Hirt & turned into a #1 hit here in the U.S. when he was a guest Trumpet soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra.
GO HERE to see 10 photos of Melissa, photos that are the largest, & highest resolution to be published on the internet.

In conclusion I have two rhetorical questions:
  • Is it possible Melissa will overshadow Andre with her musical career?
  • Is it possible Melissa is a female reincarnation of Al Hirt?

I like the new hair style, Melissa

Moderator Bill aka
Bill in Arizona

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  • August 22, 2010 Josephine wrote:
    Hi there Bill I am one of the many many youtube viewers who have watched Melissa play Il Silenzio. Goosebump moments. She holds the audience spellbound. I tried to find out more about her but not much available so thanks for this xx
  • August 22, 2010 Shirley wrote:
    I am so glad to see this information on Melissa. I will certainly be ordering some of her music. You know I've had several people send me the link to her you tube performance, some who didn't even know of Andre til she came along. Everyone is so impressed with this young lady, even our friends in the military. She is fantastic. Andre not only bought her to our attention, but she also has bought Andre to the attention of many who'd not heard of him before. I'd like to hear her with one of my favorites, Wynton Marsalis. Thanks Mr Bill, for putting her in the spotlight.
    1. August 23, 2010 Bill in Arizona wrote:
      To think people come in contact with Andre because they first know of & hear Melissa, only reinforces my believe that Melissa has a real gift of music that touches the heart of all who listen.
  • August 22, 2010 Gail Noon wrote:
    THANK YOU for sending my the email about Melissa ! She will INDEED be a joyful addition to Andre's orchestra in two or three years !

    There's a number of promising young musical artists who will become known more in the near of the daughters of a family in my church has been extremely blessed to be a classical piano virtuoso - we KNEW she is a good pianist from whenever she accompanies our youth group during any performances they do (whether during our church services, or during a community Christian festival).....but she's also delighted us with pieces played during the service (for the offering times), and a special post-service mini-concert she gave to raise donations to help her attend a summer musical camp at Tanglewood, and also be able to switch to Idlewild's Arts School.

    Melissa's and Linda's sensitivities to the expression of their music will charm MANY others also as they grow in their individual careers. I look forward to hearing from BOTH of them in the years to come.
  • August 22, 2010 Marlene Warren wrote:
    Thanks Bill for this nice write up about Melissa Venama. She's icredible isn't she?!! I have listened to Il Silenzio so many times, but I never tire of hearing it.
    I'm happy to know that Melissa has a cd out, I'll have to order it. There are some songs listed that are a must for me, I can't wait to hear her version. I would love to see her, and her trumpet, in Andre's orchestra again.

    The last two questions...interesting indeed.
    My opinion...I don't believe anyone could ever "overshadow" Andre. With all due respect to Melissa and anyone else, I believe that's right on the line of a comparison, and I also believe that everyone is perfect in their own talents...without being compared to anyone else. IMHO!
    ...a female reincarnation of Al Hirt?
    I guess that remains to be seen, however, I would like to think that Melissa is an individual with her own talents. Now...her musical abilities with the trumpet...I would say she's way up there with the talents of Al Hirt! IMHO, again!
    Bill you always ask the most interesting questions...and you always have such an interesting point of view. My mind always has to think when I read what you write. Thanks for being the individual that you are.
  • August 22, 2010 Bill in Arizona wrote:
    Please bookmark this blog topic.

    Many of you will be buying her music, it will take time for you to receive it, to listen to it, & to come back here to add your thoughts & comments.

    I, sincerely, hope everyone who reads this blog topic, will decloak & say something, now or later.
  • August 24, 2010 Charles Cogill wrote:
    Thank you,thank you Bill for bringing another joyful star to my world! I have been able to download a few MP3numbers but Amazon is not allowed to ship the CD to New Zealand.
    I will have to find another source or way so if anyone can inform me PLEASE do so.

    Charles Cogill Auckland New Zealand
  • August 24, 2010 Martha wrote:
    Hi Bill and thank you for this information on Melissa. I did listen to the samples and was very, very impressed as well I have Andre's DVD where she is guest artist. I will purchase both cds and not only could she favor Al Hirt one of the greatest trumpet players then but I immediately thought about one the greatest trumpet players today Wynton Marsalis which I would love to see him and her team up.
    1. August 24, 2010 Shirley wrote:
      Martha, I agree with you totally. I've been a Wynton Marsalis fan for quite awhile, when I first heard him play the horn conderto. whether classical or jazz, he excels. I think he's brillant. I heard that Al Hirt gave him his first trumphet. If Melissa did get a chance to play with him she would be playing with the best.
      1. August 24, 2010 Shirley wrote:
        oh oh, typos galore. Mr Bill will be all over me for this. Sorry Bill. you should have seen how I spelled my name before I caught it. I guess as long as I spell the the important ones right it's ok?
  • August 24, 2010 Inge wrote:
    Melissa is great, she will be a super solo artist, not only good with her trumpet, she is also very pretty. Wonder what happened to little Akim Camara??????
  • August 24, 2010 Woody Fitch wrote:
    Melissa, Thank You, Thank You for the
    beautiful music. I am a Retired Senior
    Citizen who's wife passed away 5 years
    ago.Your music makes the day go so much
    better.I can not listen without getting
    all choked-up and tears in my eyes.
    Thank you for that.You do not know what
    this means to me. God Bless You, God
    Bless You, My Dear, Woody

    Bill, Thankyou. MP3 is great. Will order the other CD.
  • August 24, 2010 Bill in Arizona wrote:
    Thanks to all of you that have said something about Melissa & her music. I really wrote this blog topic as a way of saying "thank you" to Melissa.

    I only wish the hundreds upon hundreds of you LURKERS that are reading this topic, would decloak & say something.

    Again, please consider BOOKMARKING this blog topic because I'm certain those of you that have order her music will want to come back & say something about what you hear on Melissa's MP3 & CD recordings.

    I'm hoping to add some additional photos in a day or two

  • August 25, 2010 Martha wrote:
    Hi Shirley no one can do typos like me especially when I'm doing two things at once. And usually that's the way it is because I'm at work when writing. I concurr with you most definitely on the two getting together. I wonder if he would take a look at her if he sees her website. You never know he likes working with the youth and is quite active with them from what I understand.
  • August 25, 2010 Bill in Arizona wrote:
    I've just added another photo to the blog topic + I've added some text which is light brown in color, to help you quickly find the changes/additions.
  • August 25, 2010 George in Hacienda Heights wrote:
    The first time I listened to the CD it sounded kind of different, kind of strange. The second time I listened to the CD, it was wonderful. I guess I had to adjust to the piano and trumpet sounds. My most favorite piece is #9 Dance Napolitaine. This is a "must have CD" and I plan to purchase several copies to give to my friends as gifts.

    1. August 25, 2010 Moderator Bill AZ wrote:

      Hi George,

      It's been a long time since you've posted any comment on this blog.

      Welcome Back - & stick around this time, OK?

      One of these days YOU, me, & others will look back & proudly say "I remember Melissa when she first recorded her CD" & I was among the earliest to buy it - & then show your friends the CD.


    2. August 27, 2010 George in Hacienda Heights wrote:
      The more I listen to the CD the more it seems that Cathelijne Noorland and Melissa Venema really complement each other. They together make the CD very enjoyable to listen to. I can't seem to able to take the CD out of my car CD player. I'm playing the CD over and over again.
  • August 27, 2010 Mike Rodwell wrote:
    Whenever I hear II Silenzio the image of
    13 year old Melissa Venema floods into my mind.
    To his credit Andre Rieu can pick talent
    of the very young for our enjoyment.
    If she ever came to my country to play I
    would be at the front of the queue for a
    ticket. Mike Rodwell New Zealand
  • August 29, 2010 LAINE COLI wrote:
  • October 6, 2010 Philip Hili wrote:
    Welcome back and very happy to be back on stage. GOOD LUCK ANDRE'
    Thanks for informing us about the rescheduling of the London Concerts. Last time we flew from Malta to attend the O2 Arena Concert. We booked out tickets abouts two months ahead. But unfortunately this had to be postponed. We try to make it in April 2011 and fly again to London in order to listen to the most beautiful orchestra of Andre' Rieu.
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