After the intermission, it was time for Round 2 of more fun, entertainment and further walk down memory lane!
We had 2 woodwind instruments, together with 2 harmonicas and a band…all in one ensemble. Contemporary Woodwind Band? Woodwind Jazz Ensemble? Either way, don’t be fooled by their “Classical Woodwind Players” appearance – they did great in contemporary style! The Institute should consider having a Wind Faculty…of both classical and contemporary streams! It was very interesting to see the harmonica players being exceptionally professional in stage performance as they were able to move around, smile ALL THE TIME, and gave a very positive, happy mood to the audience. What surprised me was the flautist, who is usually super composed and serious did the choreography with the rest of the ensemble! They were able to keep those beautiful harmonies while showcasing entertaining showmanship. There was a jazzy arrangement of Popeye the Sailorman! Towards the end of this tune, you would have thought it’s gonna be yet another cheesy ending… but NO. THERE’S MORE! It’s the SIMPSONS! It’s so funky and the stop-time was amazing! So many surprises in this one!
The concert also welcomed the Lollapalooza Singers which comprised of current students of IMus as well as alumni. Formed and conducted by IMus alumna, Koh Tian Yi, it was a bit amusing to watch since it was the first time I’ve seen people using a tuning fork to conduct… and they sang Circle of Life! It was always this one song that makes me wanna scream and sing alongside with them and hold up a Simba to the sky— the performance was rather short, but damn, my tears, I couldn’t hold them back.
The next performer was very impressive, and new – Launchpad live show from DJ-Khye! He mixed in several songs – Doraemon, Smurt, Samurai Jack, and more – into this nice mesh of medleys with the launchpad, clearly demonstrating what a launchpad can do. It ended with his own personal favorite mix – Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” – which actually concluded the whole show pretty nicely.
Theme of Superheroes, performed by the most junior ensemble of the night caught me by surprise — they were very good! The Thundercats Theme, something that Mr. Elliott might be proud of. And themes from Teen Titans, Captain Planet, and Power Rangers brought the whole crowd into a HOT SPICY TRIP OF NOSTALGIA (I’m not sure what kind of words can describe this but apparently almost everyone that knows the songs sang along with them). The most notable player in here is the Saxophonist – damn that guy can hold his breath! He held like the longest note in like, the UCSI history or something! And there’s also a change in Time Signature! Truly, an exciting performance from the unexpected, talented people!
Have I mentioned about our MCs of the night? No? Well, let me tell you – they’re amazing. No, their names are not “amazing”, but they ARE amazing, and simply by hearing one of their names you can expect a good laughter from them. They are Jonathan Wong and Yong An Ting. They crack the best sarcastic jokes ever. I love them being the MCs.
The last performance of the night was by the “Wonderwomen”. I truly understood why Jonathan said that their band name should be called the “Wonderhair”. I mean… THEIR HAIRS… OH THEIR HAIRS. The most INTERESTING and OUTRAGEOUS hairstyles EVER on these ladies! You will never expect Frances to have twin ponytails, or Grace Wong to have her hair styled to the top of the ceiling! Although the enunciation of the words to Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailormoon theme songs sounded a bit westernized, but they pronounced the Japanese words like it SHOULD. I can see how much effort they put into it. And not just the language – the performance, the arrangements, and the emotions they put into the songs were GOOD.
Even though some of the arrangements rendered the original feels of the songs gone – they were so fresh and new that I would clap for these crazy women. Their ensemble performance was tight, they rocked — they were simply amazing. By listening to their songs, you forgot how westernized their lyrics are and it really sounded AWESOME!
It was truly an exciting night. I hope that there will be more concerts like these held in the future – a concert that brings in unity between the classical and contemporary students, and for them to show us their hidden talents, something that we rarely get to see.
This article was written by Chiang Yen Min, 3rd year student of the B. of Contemporary Music program.