A night to remember

Last Updated 14 August 2015, 18:24 IST

One was transported to the sandy stretches of  a savannah desert when the ‘Kenyan Boys’ Choir’ welcomed the audience with a rhythmic acappella at Bishop Cottons Boys’ School Auditorium recently. The powerhouse of talent swayed in grace and in sync with their ‘Ohangla’ drums and clearly got the universal message of music across.

The Choir was performing in collaboration with the Toccata Musical Productions, United Kingdom. The event had evergreen tunes from classics, musicals and contemporary works that was visually, harmonically and aesthetically appealing. The 92-member-ensemble of professional and semi-professional artistes from London and Ireland, who were part of the Toccata Musical Productions, and the humble boys from Nairobi left Bengalureans with a sweet nostalgia.

In tune with the theme, ‘Resonance’, this year’s production focussed on reaching out to the disadvantaged through music. Out of more than 30 diversified pieces that the grand orchestra put together, the most popular ones seemed to be the foot-tapping songs like ‘Let’s Rock’, ‘Let It Go’, ‘Wake Up Little Susie’, ‘Oh Happy Day’ and ‘Hit The Road Jack’.

Songs from ‘Les Miserables’ and of Michael Jackson created a flutter. Seasoned soloists from West End will be remembered for a long time in the City for their haunting songs like Hallelujah’, ‘Shadowland’ and ‘Somebody to Love’. Sunil Paulraj, the musical director, was also one of the star soloists.

However, the highlight of the evening was easily the choir which nailed the performance with a medley of popular songs. Singer Franc’s charismatic aura and the flamboyance with which he sang ‘Happy’ by Pharrel Williams got the audience applauding. A salad bowl of Western choir, conducted by Colin, backed the soloists as their harmonies blended with the vocals. The orchestra’s instrumental tones were like a clear stream. Not to miss were the cherub-like dancers. As the colours around them spun and the shadows behind them danced, they pirouetted and pranced across the stage. Choreographed by Rachelle Mooney, the nimble-footed ladies swayed like ballerinas. Be it their short jigs or drawn-out gyrates, their performances truly proved to be an ethereal experience.

‘Resonance’ highlighted the authenticity of traditional and native music despite the focus on popular music. But the marriage of two styles didn’t let the authenticity of individual genres lose its sheen. The show culminated with emotional pieces like ‘Streets of London’ and ‘Somebody to Love’.

The cutest moment was when the ensemble sang ‘Dil Bhar Mere’, a Kishore Kumar classic, that was interspersed with ‘oohs’ and aaahs’ from the audience. The spectators delved into musical reveries as they were left with a medley of ‘We are the World’ and ‘Heal the World’. Curtains closed with ‘Dancing Queen’ from ABBA. That night, music had indeed traversed borders.

‘Toccata’ is donating medical equipment to Shanti Children’s Hospital in Bagalkot, raising funds for the Reaching Hands Foundation and the NGO, SRVC, which provides vocational training to the visually challenged. The show will also be held on August 15 at 7 pm and on August 16, at 3 pm and 7 pm. The venue for both days is Bishop Cotton Boys’ School Auditorium. Tickets are available at the venue and on bookmyshow.com

(Published 14 August 2015, 18:03 IST)

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