I went to a concert on Saturday evening, put on by Monash University Choral Society (MonUCS). It was a very fun event, though I’m rather tired today! Concert and after-party on one night + MIV Eurovision party on the next = big weekend. But very, very fun.
There’s something really special about going to an event like a concert and watching your friends perform. Different concerts, of course, have different vibes. Earlier in the year, I watched my boyfriend sing as part of a community choir for a Saturday afternoon event of the sunny-day live-music-entertainment sort. That was enjoyable. Saturday evening’s event was too but in a different way.
I watched the first concert to see my boyfriend sing in it. I didn’t watch with anyone else and after he’d finished, we left. Saturday was different because I was surrounded by friends as well as people I didn’t know who had come along for the same reasons as me: to support our friends and loved ones as they performed some wonderful music, the culmination of nearly three months’ hard work. It was an intimate yet grand setting of a church (so with great acoustics) and a good time was had by all.
Having attended a few MonUCS rehearsals earlier in the year, I had an idea as to what they’d be singing – but as it turned out, only a small one, as they’d added extra songs to their repertoire in the weeks since. As with any outing, feelings of anticipation and excitement played their part in preparing me for the show, as I got ready for and travelled to the event. I’d accidentally created a sense of atmosphere for myself before I left, by deciding to dress up a little. I love the buzz I get before performing something, especially in a group setting, and as I was reminded on Saturday I feel a version of that vicariously, too.
The concert on Saturday combined a range of different music types/genres, from the more classical (e.g. Mozart’s Te Deum, Vivaldi’s Gloria) to folk (e.g. Holst’s Swansea Town, Armstrong Gibbs’ Five Eyes). The first half had a mix of songs, while the second half was filled by the Gloria. I was swept up into the music from the first notes of the opening piece, Te Deum.
The sound of the singing, and the way the choir and soloists (for certain pieces) were complemented by the orchestra, moved me. I knew how hard they’d all worked to come to this moment and so I watched with a mixture of pride and joy in my heart as they gave us a lovely evening. It brought home to me again that while I love most kinds of music and singing, there’s something very special about choral music* sung by a massed choir. Singing/performing on one’s own or with a small group, with or without accompaniment, is one thing. Doing so in a larger group/massed choir is something else. Especially when you’re with friends. Listening, one is carried away by the sound of the pieces – both their musicality and the way that is used to convey a narrative (for example, in the folk songs). Done well, it is beautiful to listen to. Well done, MonUCS – and thank you.
P.S. See this link for a https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FGraf.von.Schwarzwaldschokoladeskleinkuchen%2Fposts%2F10154386452781813&width=500” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>review from a friend, David. He goes into a lot more detail about the pieces than I did.