Review: All-Town Chorus Concert
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The Roberts-Dubbs Auditorium overflowed with parents excitedly chattering in anticipation of seeing their kids singing on the big stage. An animated energy buzzed in the auditorium as K-12 students darted in and about the crowd dressed in formal attire. Nearly every seat was filled and nearly everyone in the audience strained to catch a glimpse of their child, student, or friend and eagerly awaited to hear the performances.
The All Town Chorus Festival is a two day festival starting on Tuesday, Jan. 10 showcasing students K-12 from all the public schools of Brookline. Chorus groups composed of students from the Driscoll, Baker, Heath, Lincoln schools and Brookline High School, performed under the direction of First Name Last Name. The program was a celebration of the diversity and multicultural aspects of the Brookline school system with many songs sung in different languages.
The Testostatones, the high school’s all mall identifying a capella group, kicked off the night and set the lively tone for the evening. A group of thirteen boys dressed in black and white bowties walked onto the stage single file and announced that they would sing “Stacy’s Mom.” This elicited many laughs from the audience and the mood shifted into a light, humorous atmosphere that helped cut through the nerves of jittery students.
The performance incorporated a lot of doo wopping and and a few boys taking turns singing solos, displaying an incredibly large singing range. The crowd was highly interactive and the performers were noticeably having fun, laughing and smiling while singing.
Next to perform was an all female identifying a cappella group called Note a Fy. Every member of the group was wearing a red bandana as the girls pulled off a rousing rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good”; a few soloists imitated Winehouse’s trademark raspy voice. The mixture of lovely high voices meshed well with the few girls who had lower tones and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, bobbing their heads as they sang.
Lincoln School was the first large group performance, dressed in all black and white. They sang Hamilton’s Dear Theodosia, much to the delight of the crowd. A professional piano accompanist played smoothly alongside the group and the high pitch of the student’s voices created a sweet and innocent feel to the song.
Driscoll School students as well as the Heath School sang songs in Swahili and English. The Driscoll School sang the traditional Neapolitan song Tarantella and the Heath School sang Sisi Sote. Both performances were lighthearted and began off at a slow tempo and picked up as the songs continued. The student’s enthusiasm allowed them to belt out the lyrics with abandon, matching both the fast pace and the slow, gentle parts of the songs.
The Baker School broke the pattern of all black and white and came onto the stage wearing banana yellow shirts and khakis. Baker performed Oseh Shalom, the words based on Jewish liturgy and sang very softly and gently creating a calming tone. Their second song was up tempo and the tone completely changed as they sang a Swahili song, Chapua Kali Desemba. The students even incorporated their own instruments, such as maracas and drums, into the performance. There was a lot of laughing and students stomping their feet for additional instruments as they encouraged the audience to clap along.
The high school’s Camerata choir performed soulfully and sang a slow, heartfelt a capella version of Sing Me to Heaven while wearing long black dresses and suits and ties. Their second song, Nice Work if You Can Get It, involved snapping fingers and moving easily along to the tune. The performance set up a nice contrast to the last act.
The closing number of the show was a stunning performance of all the students singing together. The stage was filled with students from every school and grade, and was a sea of different voices that all harmonized incredibly well together. It was a performance that electrified the auditorium and the hard work of every student singing certainly payed off. The All Town Chorus Festival highlighted the diversity of Brookline and delivered songs showcasing that aspect.