Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Rosthern Senior Centre was extremely happy to welcome The Derksen family from Rosthern to the Centre on June 14th. Their skillful mastery of several different instruments wonderfully entertained a large crowd, and when combined with the vocal harmony produced a truly enjoyable evening. The Derksen’s have performed on a number of occasions at the Senior Centre and the quality of their musical performance never fails to draw a crowd to enjoy a very inspiring night of gospel music.
The Derksen’s family began performing when the now adult family members were still youngsters. As the six children have grown and married there are now little ones to add to the musical presentation. The several little people from the age of three and up of course added their own special touch to the performance. The sharing of their music began in the family’s local church and from there the invitations to bring their programs to nursing homes and senior centres and to appear at other special occasions followed. Initially the musical group included the children and both Lavonne at the piano, and Ron, setting up and helping to tune instruments and maintaining the soundboard. Eventually, Ron also joined his children on the stage. Sadly though, Ron passed suddenly in 2021. The family continues to sing the songs of faith and praise they have always sung.
The family members all have careers aside from music which does limit the number of performances they can commit to, but as Rosthern is, for the most part, home base, the people in Rosthern usually don’t have to wait long to hear them again. Their performances are filled with solo numbers, quartets, and of course, instrumentals highlighting the incredible skill and expertise with which they coax the music from each individual piece. Where many people wish they could master one instrument, the Derksens seem to have that gift that makes creating music simple, but anyone who has mastered an instrument knows the hours of practice and dedication it takes to do what they do.