Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Chopin to Sullivan via Gershwin. A musical journey.

We had a gorgeous concert last night ! Seven brave souls out of expected eleven were fit and able to sing ! The drop out rate, due to sickness, snow and shrinking violets, did not in any way stop the magnificent seven putting together a concert of which they deserve to be as proud as punch.

D also played a couple of piano solos which added hugely to the evening, and allowed him to make one more step on the road to consistent confidence. Altogether a satisfying and much enjoyed short performance.

There were no stars, each sang to the best of their ability, and each upped their game a little more, finding confidence and relaxation in their songs. Each sang two solos, which is always a good thing as the second time is like a walk in the park after the knocking knees of the first one. L started us off with a poised and dark chocolate performance of that Welsh perennial 'All Through The Night'. She of the deep contralto sound, which is so very unusual in an 11 year old, sang with such lovely words and mouth shapes worthy of a pro. L has the lowest voice I have taught in the last 15 years, and she is developing quite beautifully and will be a gold dust voice within Inner Sound as soon as she is old enough to shoulder more vocal responsibility.

Poor A was on a massive learning curve ! She had a sore throat, choking sniffles and was feeling generally rotten I think. In a true teen fashion she almost felt the need to let her audience know how rotten she felt, and whilst her opening solo was absolutely fine, and her high notes were solid as Jurassic rocks, her interpretation of O Happy Young Heart from The Sorcerer was only slightly more gay than a melancholic pessimist ! She brightened up considerably in her Someone to Watch Over Me, and sang like the trooper she really is and gave a splendid performance !

Our young chap J, excelled himself, he was under pain of death to drop his jaw for .....Hey Ho away we his lively folksong Donkey Riding, and so far down was the said jawbone I thought it might touch the floor ! Hence the sound rang around the room, everyone loved it, and he sat down a very pleased young man ! Keep it all going young J - even when your tyrant teacher is in foreign parts !

J was a bit of a star, she performed the Scottish folksong Charlie is my Darling with a serious and careful approach making sure every word was clear, whilst giving herself time to think ahead. I was thrilled with her O What a Beautiful Morning, it was indeed quite beautiful, and when she smiled she transformed a cold, wet and miserable February tuesday into a warm and sultry Oklahoma BBQ ! It was a triumph of courage and joy - exactly the ingredients which make up our J .

A lovely young newcomer, another N, finally joined the family and sang with such controlled and mature tone I was very very pleased, and I hope she was too ! Her Italian aria was poised and so gloriously in tune, all she now needs is a gentle push towards confident interpreting. She then went on to sing the beautiful Path to the Moon, still a little afraid, but calmer than her first solo, and gave a lovely performance indeed. It is a voice of much potential, which only needs unlocking. She puts the work in, so it will happen !

We had the brightest, prettiest and most cheeky young Buttercup when S sang the opening solo from HMS Pinafore. She tripped onto the stage for all the world as if she owned it ! Her voice is developing all the time and after being rather nervous for the first verse of her Panis Angelicus, she suddenly relaxed and really sang. Her confidence grows along with her voice every week and she went home with an extra layer of self worth I think !

Young H of the newly broken voice gave a spectacular and hilarious performance of The Spider, a Flanders and Swann song I previously did not know. It could, for all the world be dedicated to David Attenborough who has clearly seen and wrestled with, every dangerous creature known to man, but is terrified of the spider in the bath ! He sang so well, the low notes are coming, the high notes are coming, and when the naughty tongue decides to give in and lay flat in his mouth, he is going to have a voice the size of Inverness ! He, of course, brought the proverbial house down !

D brought the short evening to a close with his Chopin Fantasie, raising the cultural tone slightly, and delivered us safely to the next and most important part of the evening - the food ! My last supper so to speak ! What a great way to end my somewhat truncated term. Seeing and hearing the development in these future stars, and hearing the unconditional support which they all get from the whole of Inner Sound.

Of course the best part of the evening was my lovely quiche - a parental contribution for my journey to Glasgow !

It is all gone...........mmmmmmmm.


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