Oct 29, 2015

Choral Fanfare

You may remember that previously Eloise's school choir won their competition to decide on the best choir in Brisbane and their surrounds with a rabble-rousing performance of closely-harmonied ditties that were impressive and catchy.

The time came around for the Choral Fanfare Grand Finale at the end of October. The Wilston Warblers were not just disappointed but dare I say mildly disgusted to learn that the Grand Finale would not in fact be a Grand Finale in the sense of a winner-takes-all slugfest of singing skill, choral cohones or indeed musical mastery, but a Showcase instead where the choirs would perform for the sheer enjoyment of singing itself, with no prizes and no endless compromises to shatter the illusions of integrity.

It was a post-school evening affair and so for us poor parents took on the pallor of a toddler-control event. Eloise travelled down on a chartered bus while we poor plebs were forced to transport ourselves and join the queue outside the Old Museum, uncertain even as to the sufficiency of the auditorium to accommodate all the parents and family members who had travelled from far and wide (and in Queensland, far and wide means Far and Wide).

Nevertheless, after the assembled choirs had had some time to practise some sort of massed ensemble thingy, we did indeed file in and we did get seats, and before long the choirs began.

The first half of the evening was devoted to the primary schools, and quite impressive they were, as would befit a performance of the winners of the local Fanfare competitions.

Then a short break before the high schools came on.

If only!

"A short break," the bloke said "during which everybody can get to know each other" or words to that effect.

Forty minutes later everyone knew each other intimately, and we were all looking at each other askance and wondering when the bloody singing would start again so we could get ourselves home. We all have homes to go to, you know!

Lyra was by this stage running around like a fly with a teal tush and we knew that whatever writing there was was in fact on the wall. We waited agog with anticipation while the interval went on and on and on and on.

And then, finally, perhaps even funereally, the wait was over and without a hint of explanation, as though a forty-minute interval is a totally normal thing, the proceedings proceeded once more to proceed.

I have skipped over a detailed deconstruction of the performance of the primary schools because the high school performers just blew them away, completely out of the park. There were six-part harmonic reconstructions of Gotye, street-acapella renditions of Rachel Platten, performances ranging in complexity from the sublime to the ridiculous. It was very good indeed.

Of course much as we were enjoying it the toddler was playing up and after Mum and Lyra retired to the sidelines to give her some space to express her tiredness and restlessness through the medium of dance, bringing her until full view and altogether over-closeness with the supposedly sitting-down massed primary choirs who were supposedly spectating the choirs but actually spectating the terrifying toddler, things went south.

When Eloise decided to jump up and intervene I decided to jump up and intervene as things threatened to get out of hand and escorted young Lyra from the scene of potential crime, leaving a sonic trail of wailing behind that I hoped would be less disruptive than whatever unpleasantness might result if the trajectory of events were to take its natural course.

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