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CONCERT REVIEW

A Fall Concert that Rises Above Expectation

Chorallaries, Despite Technical Difficultues, Perform Vibrantly with Brown Jabberwocks in Fall Concert

By Pey-Hua Hwang

staff writer

Chorallaries Fall Concert

10-250

Saturday, November 3, 2001

The Chorallaries filled 10-250 for their fall concert, which featured a new set and many new faces. To make the Saturday evening even more interesting, the Chorallaries’ guest group, the all-male Jabberwocks from Brown University, got lost on their way to MIT. This development forced the Chorallaries to make some quick changes to the way the concert ran, but in the end the Jabberwocks arrived safely and the concert was a success.

People continued to stream into the 8 p.m. concert as late as 8:15 p.m., only to hear about the Jabberwocks’ current location (they were somewhere between Central and Harvard Square). The Chorallaries decided to sing “three special songs,” because the audience had been “so patient.”

The first song featured a new Chorallary, Daniel O. Bates ’05, and was not part of the group’s official repertoire. The next two songs were old repertoire, but had new voices in the solo parts. Lisa M. An ’05 sang “Breathless” by the Corrs, and Bo Kim ’04 sang “One Thousand Oceans” by Tori Amos.

Kim’s projection and tone have improved from last year, and Bates had natural stage presence. Chang seemed a little bit nervous at the song’s start, almost allowing the rest of the Chorallaries to drown out her voice, but relaxed as the song progressed and balanced better with the group.

Then it was time for another news flash. The Jabberwocks were now in Arlington, so the Chorallaries, after a brief huddle, decided to just start the show with a skit.

The skit, meriting a title like “Chorallaries for sale,” poked fun at fellow MIT a cappella groups the Toons, the Logarithms, and the Muses. Another new member, Kuangshin Tai G launched into an energetic rendition of the Barenaked Ladies song “It’s all been done.” Aside from a slight lyric snafu at the beginning of the song, Tai was in full command of the audience, and bounced around as he sang, as if his shoes had springs in them.

The Chorallaries then mellowed the mood as they dedicated “The Park” by Uriah Heap to the victims of the September 11 bombing. Bates was again the soloist, and displayed very impressive vocal control as he sang the whole song in a clear falsetto. The harmonies provided by Maggie A. Sullivan ’03 and Emily C. Vincent ’04 also blended seamlessly with Bates in this reflective piece. However, the mood soon lifted as Mira E. Wilczek ’03 and Sebastian Cherng ’04 dueled it out in Prince’s “Nothing Compares To You,” which they set up with a humorous skit. Both Wilczek and Cherng possess that rare ability to become larger than life when soloing, even though they are surprisingly unassuming as part of the larger ensemble.

Finally, the Jabberwocks found their way to 10-250. The Chorallaries introduced them with a wink, “All the way from Brown, via Arlington, the Jabberwocks!”

Although the Jabberwocks put on a good show, one of the group member’s commented, “Fuck whoever designed this city,” and the audience cheered. The six-song set featured a serenade and an eclectic array of popular tunes. The highlights were “Paperback Writer,” by the Beatles, which was performed with lots of energy and even a slight English accent by Jason Siegel, and “Cheeseburger in Paradise” by Jimmy Buffet, performed by Jason Doles.

The Chorallaries then returned with just as much energy as before as Leah K. Premo ’04 sang “Mamma Mia” by the A-Teens while Tai and Aneal Krishnan ’03 got their groove on as flyboys. This song actually had all of the Chorallaries dancing along and their enjoyment in performing was infectious.

Along came another skit, this time unabashedly promoting their CD Poker Face. The mood mellowed with the subsequent rendition of “My Lover’s Gone,” by Dido. Vincent, who has a stratospheric soprano, proved the integrity of the rest of her vocal range in this piece. In a final piece before their finale, the Chorallaries had Krishnan singing “If I Am” by Nine Days. Krishnan is a new member to the group, but he certainly didn’t show it, as he provided a solid ending to the set. The group ended their set with a singing of the the traditional MIT drinking song with all of their alumni.

Their encore “Here With Me” by Dido was sung by Premo, who set up the calm lyric mood that began the medley which started with “Flood” by Jars of Clay sung by Geoff A. Becker ’05. However, it was soon overtaken by the rock and roll of the second song in the medley, “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi, sung by Ross I. Runnion ’04. Becker, often overtaken by his duet partner Amy L. Schonsheck ’03, has potential but needs to work on his projection.

For their first concert of the year, and with eight new members, the Chorallaries did not fail to keep their energy, choreography and skits entertaining. This group is certain to bring more innovative musical renditions throughout the rest of the school year; one can certainly look forward to their next concert with even higher expectations.