The Rancho Bernardo Chorale (RBChorale) gave one of its' two June concerts last night. On Friday, we feature three scholarship contestants vying for 4th, - 6th place. We had two very talented violinists and an oboist. We had a field of 17 candidates, which was narrowed to 6 by a mix of financial need, plans to pursue a musical career, and musical ability as demonstrated to our nominating committee. The candidates then perform at the concert, starting with clean slates. For the first time, the placings were chosen by audience vote (we used to use a panel of 3-5 community judges). The awards were $1000, $1500 and $2500, for 3rd, 2nd, 1st. Essentially we had two contests, one on Friday night (1-3) and another on Sat night (1-3). I have no idea how they decided which three would compete on which night. Saturday night, the harpist took 3rd, the pianist took 2nd and the singer took 1st. I'll list their names later, as we will probably hear of one or two of them again.
CUmulatively, this is the largest award we have given yet (in 30 years, the chorale has awarded well over $100,000 in scholarships, and the amount has greatly increased in recent years as we become able to count on 4 sell-out crowds of 816 per year).
The Chorale performs before and after the contest - that first number after the superb performances of the contestants is nerve-wracking! This June, the theme was Broadway, Past and Present. The director, PAt Bean, is fond of medleys, so we did arrangements from Jerome Kern, Andrew Lloyd Webber, "Oklahoma", "Chicago", and a medley of "Broadway hits". We also did an arrangement of "Bring Him Home" (Les Mis) by the men, and a medley of golddigger songs by the ladies (Hey Big Spender, We're in the Money,and Whatever Lola wants).
Solo performances were given of several numbers from Oklahoma and Phantom of the Opera. In addition, we had a send up of Sonny & Cher (the broadway connection is a bit weak here, but our audience loved them), and the rock song "On Broadway". We ended the concert with a gospel song anchored by "Wayne Jr and the Waynettes", followed by a medley of patriotic songs anchored by one Jim Boydston. Wayne Jr and Jim sing solos while being backed up by ~130 of us who are getting pretty enthusiastic (aka loud) by this time.
There was one AMAZING improvement in the chorale's performance this year. The group has aquired the use of dynamics! We now vary from pianissimo to fortissimo! We used to do everything forte, despite Pat's best efforts.
This remarkable change came about by the most amusing/amazing technique - Pat now holds up 1 finger for pianissimo and 5 for fortissimo. This sinks into our collective brain in the way nothing else has for 30 years!
Its a big glitzy show (lots of sequins - think "Razzle Dazzle" from Chicago), and as usual with the RBC, music is just one of the components.
The dancing was the best choreography ever.
<small>[ 06-21-2004, 03:02 PM: Message edited by: piqaboo ]</small>
Altoid - curiously strong.