Looking back into the past

Evergreen songs

What happens when good old classics are presented live to you by a capable group of musicians? It’s a nostalgic trip down memory lane of course!

The same happened at ‘Nostalgia 2011’, aptly titled, because of the wonderful music that was presented to the audiences by ‘Toccata’, one of United Kingdom’s most sought-after ensembles, at the Bishop Cotton Boys’ School Auditorium.

Taking the stage with aplomb, the huge group of musicians, dancers and
instrumentalists, rendered one fabulous song after the other. The ‘Toccata Musical Productions UK’ is a group of professional and semi-professional UK-based musicians, with a strong body of work and considerable experience.

The concert was produced and directed by Dr Sunil Paulraj, conducted by Judith Sheridan and choreographed by Jason O’Neill.  Expressing their pleasure to be here, the group said, “There are somethings, we all do to survive — be it you, me or them — everybody needs somebody,” as it started with ‘Everybody Needs Somebody’ and moved on to ‘Stayin Alive’, the evergreen hit of the ‘Bee Gees’.

This was followed by a beautiful choir performance of one of ‘Abba’’s best songs, ‘Fernando’.  Nichola Jolley, a talented singer from the group, rendered ‘Desperado’ by ‘Eagles’ with ease and passion. Post this was time for some rock ‘n’ roll as Trevor Whittaker, the tenor along with the choir, presented ‘I Love Rock And Roll’.

Classics like ‘Puff The Magic Dragon’ and ‘The Prayer’ were rendered next followed by one of the best performances of the evening — Elton John’s ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ and ‘Circle Of Life’ — from the movie, ‘The Lion King’.

Evergreen hits like ‘California Dreaming On Such A Winter’s Day’ and ‘Jailhouse Rock’ had everyone singing and dancing as the evening had just begun. Indian singers from ‘Yodhakaa’, who have collaborated on musical projects with A R Rahman, joined them to provide a fantastic alaap.

After the intermission, ‘Danny Boy’, ‘Montana Skies’, ‘We Are The Champions’, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ were performed.  The impeccable dancers, Ashleigh and Jason took the stage in between and mesmerised the audience with their moves. 

A special mention must go to David Matthew, who presented ‘The Last Waltz’ with a flirty streak as he chivalrously approa­ched all the ladies on stage.  Then it was time for another beautiful set of songs like ‘Halleluja’, ‘Ring Of Fire’ and ‘Uptight’.

The singers did complete justice to Billy Joel’s ‘River Of Dreams’ and ‘I Am All Out Of Love’ by  ‘Air Supply’ as well. They ended the night with George Michael and Elton John’s ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down’ and ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ by ‘Simon And Garfunkel’.

All those who thought the show was over were taken by a pleasant surprise as the group paid a  grand tribute to the King Of Pop — Michael Jackson. “You have been a
wonderful audience and it’s lovely to be back home,” said Dr Sunil Paulraj, the director/ producer and tenor of the band.

“We end the show with a special piece from a fantastic entertainer — Mr Michael Jackson,” he said as the choir broke in to a melodious blend of ‘We Are The World’ and ‘Heal The World’ and ended the show. However, on the special request of the crowd, the choir came back on stage to perform Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’.

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