This concert was a lovely way to spend a Saturday evening. I enjoyed the range of songs the two choirs chose. The guest choir, a barbershop a cappella group named Voices in Harmony, mostly performed very percussive songs with plenty of the rich lower notes, while the Women’s Glee Club performed more serene songs with higher melodies and not as much of the alto section. This difference added a good variety to the concert. I only wish the theme, Journey On, had fit the subjects of the songs better.
I was, as always, impressed with the entrance of the Women’s Glee Club. They always file onto the risers, stand in straight lines, and then shift as one so that they are arrayed in window formation. I think my favorite song was “Down to the River to Pray,” because at the beginning most of the women were lined along either side of the main floor, so when they started singing it gave the sound a very universal quality and filled the space beautifully. The solos (in “Down to the River to Pray” and “Kyrie”) were all really well done. Midnight Blue, the Women’s Glee Club a cappella group, also performed three numbers. I like that in the songs Midnight Blue performs most everybody gets a solo, which allows a listener to distinguish the different voice timbres that make up the group.
Voices in Harmony was fantastic. I loved the sparkly black tops they all wore, and their enthusiasm was contagious. They began singing while one of their members was introducing them, which I thought was a very nice touch. There was plenty of choreography, making the songs really dynamic, and even when there wasn’t the women were all moving to the beat. My favorite song was “Bottom of the River”: they produced a beautiful beat by slapping the floor, clinking chains, and clapping their hands in something that reminded me of the hand jive from Grease, and they moved around throughout the song. The low notes in that piece, as well as all the others, really stood out to me, and added gravity to the performance.
These two groups each presented a unified front, enhancing the listeners’ experience. They both choreographed their songs, and they blended very well, using the same articulations (for example, in “Jubilate Deo,” sung by the Women’s Glee Club, they had beautiful staccato notes). When they joined to sing “You’re My Best Friend,” the two groups interspersed themselves among each other: I had been expecting them to stand in blocks, and the fact that they didn’t was refreshing and added meaning to the song as well. It was a wonderful performance, and I’m very glad I was able to go.