by Rachel Tan (13S06D) and Gerald Lee (13A01E)
What better way to start off the Christmas season than listening to a host of festive songs? Raffles Chorale’s latest concert entitled Sing On featured this season’s staple carols. These included the likes of Hark the Herald and White Christmas as well as remixes of modern pop hits, all in a capella style .
Despite the performance being scheduled in the midst of the December holidays, tickets were sold out for the night – and as with all sell-out concerts, expectations were high. And, for the most part, Raffles Chorale definitely did not disappoint.
Sing On was a celebratory concert for the remarkable year of achievements from Raffles Chorale, a thank-you concert and a farewell concert for the Year 6s. On top of that, Raffles Chorale celebrated the spirit of Christmas by donating the proceeds from their concert to D’ Artistes, a charity group for special needs children.
The concert opened with “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by the full choir, which was a heavenly experience (No pun intended) The performance was followed by the J1 Chorale batch, which sang “White Christmas” and “The Gift”. The performance was lively and it had the perfect union of jocund harmonies.
Up next was FRINGE, one of Chorale’s acapella groups. It went off on a shaky start with It Came Upon a Midnight Clear and Carol of The Bells – the former was a touch wavering and the latter lacked the required staccato crispness that would have suited the song’s title more aptly. Yet, the singers recovered immediately with what was probably the best song of the night – Baba Yetu. The crowd was aroused to a spiritual high at their soulful rendition of “Our Lord’s Prayer” in Swahili, not withstanding the fact that only a fraction knew its actual meaning. Soulfully sung, the choir captured the sincere and tear-inducing emotions in this joyous tune.
P.U.N.C.H., another in-house group, put up a cheeky, theatrical song-cum-comedy which was a refreshing treat in the formal concert. This interesting and plucky group added a kick to the concert with its superb renditions of pop songs – weaved into a comical storyline. The audience was clearly entertained by the witty humour, which drew snarky references. Pity then, that they could not maintain the same energy level with most of their songs. Save for the upbeat and adrenaline-pumping take on “Some Nights” led by Dexter Choo (13S06M), the rest of the songs failed to emphasise the playfulness and vivacity that would have been consistent with the entire act.
Thankfully, they were saved by the remaining two groups – A Bit of Blue and The Men. Worth mentioning was the interesting arrangement of Yellow, originally performed by indie-rock group Coldplay, by Stephanie Koay (13A01C). Accompanied by skillful beatboxing and a melodious background which formed a supportive framework, the leads shone with their mastery of technique. Another highlight was Hallelujah, in which Cha Yu Jin (13S06M) magically scaled her way through the demands of the song, displaying her excellent vocal range. Considering the challenging nature of the high notes, her slight pitchy-ness could be easily forgiven.
BEATS, an all-boy group comprising of graduated seniors, impressed the crowd as they attained a level of maturity that could only be gained from age, crooning to the tunes of O Come All Ye Faithful, O Holy Night and Christmas In Your Eyes. Their relaxed and light-hearted banter, alongside a suave charisma, proved that choir concerts were not all that passive after all.
The concert came to a close with the full choir. Every member of the full choir was dressed in great panache (suits and gowns) and their wonderful voices cavorted in each other’s harmonies. With 12 Days of Christmas and The Road Home, they brought the audience to the climax of the concert and reached a magical moment of music, which they had set out to find. The absolute purity of tone, beauty of intonation, and depth of feeling moved the audience and left them clamouring for more. The full choir ended their performance with an encore of Jingle Bells, which captivated the audience.
“Sing On” was an enchanting and magical concert that showcased the talents of students from Raffles Chorale. Together with the humorous emcees, Raffles Chorale put up an entertaining and interesting night that celebrated their success and the spirit of Christmas. As the chairperson of Raffles Chorale, Samuel Tham (13S06D), puts it, “They did exceptionally well, but beyond the music, the camaraderie was what mattered most!’
Photos courtesy of Chen Zheng Wei and Tsai Min Yi
The writers’ tickets were sponsored by Raffles Chorale.