Monday, January 16, 2012

Tonal Tuesdays - Accompaniment for Singers

In 2009, my hubby and I were celebrating our 40th anniversary.  Our wonderful daughter,Colleen, and much loved son-in-law were coming to Canada for Christmas that year and we were asked to meet them in Toronto. Upon arrival, our car was whisked away by the valet at the hotel and then later off we went in a taxi first to our surprise, dinner at the   Wayne Gretzky Restaurant.  Even if you don't follow hockey, it has great food and a fun atmosphere.

Then we were off again to our next surprise and I burst into tears when we arrived at the Roy Thompson Hall and found out we were going to see a Christmas Il Divo concert.  Wow!!
These four young men sing amazingly well together and their harmony and style are a treat.  We did have to remind the ladies behind us to listen during the concert.  They had come from Vancouver just to see these four handsome men and kept talking about them.  Imagine spending all that money and not taking the time to listen.
Someone else who didn't seem to be listening was the conductor of the Roy Thompson Orchestra.  There were a few times when one of the singers actually tried to get the conductor to notice that he wasn't working WITH them.  Truly this conductor thought he was the centre of attraction.  Under those difficult conditions these professionals still put on a wonderful show.
This is one of my favourite Il Divo concerts and the orchestra is such a support and addition to this concert.  See if you agree.
Accompaniment for a singing group is so very important.  Luckily, the ETS has a wonderfully talented accompanist in our Kristy VanKooten-Bossence.   She has the rare talent of being able to keep us on time and in tune without my even having to think about it.  Over the years, I have worked with many pianists who are very talented but not able to accompany.  A great accompanist works in tandem with the conductor.

Recently, I was able to see a performance by Theatre Kent, of The Sound of Music. The accompaniment was a volunteer band directed by Carol Revell.  Even though these are all amateurs, the accompaniment never overwhelmed the singers.  I happened to be sitting near the band and yet never noticed their playing but just heard the final product.  When you read the above review, Carol and the musicians go virtually unmentioned.  That is a true sign of great accompaniment.

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1 comment:

Colleen Babcock said...

That conductor was the worst I have ever seen. Terrible. Good thing Il Divo were good. They even looked good picking up the luggage. Tee hee.