On Saturday evening I had the pleasure of attending RMIT Occasional Choral Society’s end-of-semester concert, Internet Through The Ages. It was a light-hearted romp through the internet of Things, bracketed by a lovely Prequel to the Internet on one end, and their second (and particularly inspired) rendition of Laudate.
It was a cold night, but the venue was snugly warm. I’d had a full afternoon already, so it was a treat to sit back, relax and be entertained for a couple of hours. Such entertainment, too!
The program had a little bit of everything, making me laugh consistently, as well as smile in admiration for the achievements of the choir. The set was ambitious, with eleven songs in the first half, followed by a lolcat version of a choral mass after intermission, then two final humorous songs to finish. An extra layer of difficulty was added by ROCS being affected by the singer’s dreaded nemesis, lurgy, in the weeks preceding the concert. However, ROCS rose to the task and performed well. The soloists for different pieces were in fine voice, and the choir sections complemented each other.
Many pieces in the performance were, as has become usual with ROCS, written/ composed and or arranged by choir members, or friends of the choir. It makes for fantastic listening, as it introduces you to fresh works and, even in the case of pieces you think you’ve heard before, you won’t have heard them quite like this.
My favourites included:
The Prequel mentioned earlier – a song about the enduring need for communication, delivered by different means across the years, from carrier pigeons to horseback messengers to Morse code. It was written by a friend of mine, with the music composed by another.
Ebay – a splendid rendition of the Weird Al Yankovic parody. It was performed by a smaller sub-group of ROCS known as CORP and featured a strong alto solo. (…. and I now have the original and the parody battling for dominance in my head. 😛 )
All Star – an arrangement of the well-known song in the style of a “Bach chorale following the conventions of the Common Practice Period”. It was quite “wow” to hear it played with like that.
Speaking of “playing with” pieces, another favourite of mine was the Missa Lolcat. It was indeed a choral mass “for teh kittehs” of lolcat fame, paying homage to “ceiling cat” and speaking of “happy cat” among other interpretations. When I say Mass, I mean that – the choir sang through recognisable lolcat versions of Gloria, Credo, Sanctus/Benedictus (with repeated Hosannas) and Agnus Dei! Wow-ee. I enjoyed this piece a lot, despite having little knowledge of the original lolcats, so well done.
Finally, I should mention the riffs on Laudate Nomen Domini. We were Rick-Rolled by the first rendition, and the second one was very well played as well, set as it was right at the end when, usually, all those who know Laudate join in with the choristers on-stage. The interpretation ROCS gave made us all need a beat to re-set before we sang along with gusto.
Bravo, ROCS, and thanks for a wonderful evening!