“Unlike other concerts, it was not too long, although we simply wished it to be longer as the music was spectacular! One of the greatest music concerts I have ever been to, can’t wait for the next production by the Trinity College Choir!!” – A student from Middle School
“The Choristers were all in sync and the music was also so good that, PERFECT would be the best way to describe it!” – A student from Upper School
“I liked complexity and vivid genres that were chosen by the choir this time!” – An Old Boy
“A lovely evening, I would not miss the opportunity to see the choristers in action again” – An overseas visitor
“The concert is ought to be brought down to Colombo!” – A visitor from Colombo
“I wished the music would never end” – A music teacher
“This was the best event that happened in years and everything was so classy – we enjoyed it so much” – A member of the staff
“You should have a repeat performance – there were many who couldn’t get a seat” – A grand parent
“It was simply mesmerising” – A parent
The evening of Friday, 14th of September will have indeed been a memorable one for all those who were present at the Trinity College Main Hall for the “Mind Your Music” concert; a fine work of art by the Trinity College Choir with live musical accompaniment on keyboard, guitar and drums. The hall was packed with an appreciative audience with all the seats being sold out a day before.
Held once every two years, the theme this year was “Musicals to Movies”. As suggested by the name, it included many compositions by celebrated musicians performed in well known films over the years.
The evening started with a solo and joined in harmony by the choir: a true children’s classic from 1930’s Wizard of Oz, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, originally composed by Harold Arlen. The calm and peaceful nature of Dorothy’s heartfelt song was brought forth with great success by both the choir and the soloist.
Next was “As Time Goes By” from an all time great film Casablanca. The jazzy, bluesy and romantic song was brilliantly performed by the talented soloist and the choir, filling the air with the memories of what is truly a time gone by.
The Ascot Gavotte, a memorable composition from the famous Lerner and Lowes musical My Fair Lady followed next, and yet again the choir performed an astounding rendition of this classic work of art allowing the audience to reminisce the plight of Eliza Doolittle, the flower seller disguised as a lady. At the end of the song, a clip from the film is played, where Eliza, fully dressed up at an upper-class racecourse, suddenly yells at her horse to “move your blooming a- “.
Next, the air hummed with the bouncy strains of the clumsy 1960s detective and comedy animation series The Pink Panther’s theme song by Henry Mancini. A short clip played before the performance showed the choir is not afraid to laugh at itself, featuring a scene from the cartoon where a conductor, enraged by various sounds made by an audience member, resorts to the universal communication device of a gun. It is without doubt the audience was filled with excitement as the choir performed with much enthusiasm.
The next composition was one that was introduced to the world by the foremost and the most influential pop band in history, “Yesterday” written by Sir Paul McCartney of the Beatles in a dream. Lined up in the 1960s movie Help!, this was yet again another melodious performance by the choir and soloist combined.
The theme to Top Cat, a well known American children’s animation series followed next was a fine work of the jazz genre that the choir together with a solo bass line on the piano performed with a great deal of excitement, showing that they enjoyed it as much as the audience.
Get Yourself a College Girl was another classic film released in 1964. The song “Girl from Ipanema” is a well established composition by musician Antonio Carlos Jobim. This too was a solo performance accompanied together with the choir and instruments.
A song for all ages would be an apt description for the next performance: “Edelweiss” by Rodgers and Hammerstein, taken from the classic musical The Sound of Music. It filled the audience with a sense of nostalgia taking them back to their very own childhood as they too were asked to join in with the choir to sing the final verses of the song.
A Walt Disney production would always be an essential addition for a concert themed on musicals and films, as it was probably many audience members’ first introduction to music. The Basses and Tenors of the choir (introduced as the TTBB Boys) did not fail to fill in this requirement, performing a barbershop worthy “The Vulture Song” by the Sherman brothers from the Disney favourite, The Jungle Book.
“The name’s Bond…James Bond”, a catchphrase known by many action film enthusiasts young and old. The James Bond theme by Monty Norman preceded next. The audience was indeed felt the thrill and anticipation as the choir performed this composition as they were reminded of scenes from a classic fast-paced spy story.
Next was a piece that had quite the contrasting genre to the previous song: “Memory” from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats was indeed a memorable addition to the list of songs performed by another soloist together with the choir. It induced a soothing but sad atmosphere as the choir progressed onto their next composition.
Another astounding solo performance followed next from the 1980s romantic drama Arthur. It was indeed a pleasure to hear yet another solo performance accompanied by the choir and instruments showing the great potential and calibre of the Trinity College choristers.
Rowan Atkinson was famous for his hilarious role as Mr Bean, a British sitcom aired in the 1990s. “Ecce Homo” by Howard Goodall, the all so familiar classic opening theme song to the Mr Bean series was next in the choirs choice, helping us to remember the mischief brought about by this legendary comic.
“I am vengeance, I am the night” a quote by one of the most iconic superheroes of all time, Batman. Gloom and suspense filled the air as the choir performed a composition of multi award-winning themes from a group of composers from 1966 to 2012. Notable names include Danny Elfman, Shirley Walker, and Hans Zimmer. The scene depicted on the background while singing is from Tim Burton’s Batman from 1989, which featured Danny Elfman’s theme. The arrangement sung featured themes from nine films, which included one animated film, making a statement about the versatility of the Trinity College Choir.
Traversing back across to the 1930s came another spectacular solo performance together with the choir and instrumentation. Successfully captivating the audience once again in a mood of romantic jazz was “Blue Moon” from the film Manhattan Melodrama, another famous composition by Richard Rodgers.
As the choir began to sing the next song, the hall filled with a sense of deep emotion as well as a mild sense of melancholy. “The Show Must Go On”. a composition originally sung by the lead vocalist Freddy Mercury of the ever famous 90s rock band Queen took a special place in the list of songs performed that night. Having chord sequences influenced by Pachelbel’s Canon the choir was capable of bringing about the intensity of the song portraying the ardour of the last days of a true legend.
As the show was coming to an end, once again the “TTBB Boys” of the Trinity College Choir performed an eminent favourite “Goodnight Sweetheart” from the film American Graffiti, bidding “Goodnight” to the audience.
The final piece for the night was “Tomorrow” from the film Annie, with two trebles singing lead verses, Strouse’s original composition was indeed a performance that moved the audience as they too were reminded that amidst the darkest and dreary of days the sun would always shine and instil in us a better tomorrow.
The wonderful concert was much appreciated by the Principal Mr Andrew Fowler-Watt, and on whose request there was an encore of one of his personal favourites that night, Edelweiss, joined by the audience again.
As the concert came to a close, it was undoubtedly an evening that was enjoyed by both the choir and audience alike, filling the hearts and souls of all those present with the joy of many musical masterpieces. Kudos to the Trinity College Choir that outshone themselves again – making it night to remember, and a longing in the audience that the music would not end.