Concert for A Summer's Eve
After a long day of classes and the exertion of the Interhouse cross country run, Brentwood students anxiously awaited the cool seats of the Bunch Theatre last Thursday night. Here was an opportunity to relax and enjoy an impressive show: no arm-twisting had to be done to get these students out of prep, despite the pressure of advancing exams.
The girls dolled up and, after close inspection from houseparents, were allowed to leave their houses; the boys took their standard five minutes to affix their ties and fasten a few buttons, and soon enough all the houses were on their way to a night of music.
What was it that the Odyssey’s sirens used to lure passing sailors to their deaths? It wasn’t money, and it certainly wasn’t the promise of power or paradise.
It was music.
Perhaps it is the way that the rhythm of the thudding drum matches our heartbeat, or the way a particular voice or a certain lyric ensnares our senses – it is no wonder those sailors had to put beeswax in their ears to avoid being seduced by song.
But no matter what it is that makes music tick, one thing is undeniable: music is the voice of the soul, and we were graced with the presence of numerous musical souls on the night of Brentwood’s annual Concert for a Summer’s Eve.
With more than twenty acts spanning two hours, the concert swung swiftly between classical renditions and modern tunes. In all honesty, a single blog post cannot properly summarize the sheer intensity of all of the concert’s talents, but here are a few highlights: the Pops Orchestra demonstrated the impressive skill which had garnered those silver medals at National Musicfest Canada a couple of weeks ago, and the Jazz Band made us laugh with “Mumbo Jumbo”. The W.O.W. Rock Band electrified the stage, while the Classical Guitar Ensemble complimented the powerful sound with a delicate plucking of “Corcovado” and “No Rain”.
Listening and watching concerts of this nature becomes even more exciting, however, when individuals dominate the stage. Lindsay C and Vicky C stunned us all with a wildly clever cover of Beethoven’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” on the piano and—brace yourself— marimba. Min K performed a brilliant interpretation of a jazz favorite, “At Last”, while Stephen C busted out an incredibly slick saxophone solo that lasted the entire duration of the Jazz Band’s “Willow Weep for Me”. Maggie D’s compelling “Only Hope” ended with the audience in silent awe; Head Prefect Dan H’s rendition of “In Your Hands” was striking. Shannon W lightened the tone with a lovable song “Happy as the Sun”, and meanwhile, Zander W (drums), Katie C (stand-up bass), and Jon H (electric guitar) were a talented trio that wove in and out of almost every song in both Acts I and II.
What was perhaps the most adventurous solo cover act of the night, however, was the rendition of Adele’s signature song, “Rolling in the Deep”.
A singer or a musician takes a certain risk when performing a cover of songs as popular as “Rolling in the Deep”, for it can end in one of two ways: either it ruins the essence of the song entirely—or, with the right balance of talent and musical sensibility, it adds flair to the already popular tune. The latter is exactly what Hannah W’s magnificent cover did on Thursday and Friday night. It was only a few weeks ago where we saw Jazleen D dominate the stage at the Evening of Dance with her own fierce contemporary dance piece inspired by Adele’s lyrics; Hannah W’s subsequent cover of the song was similarly impressive.
Imagine how amazing it would be if Jazleen and Hannah teamed up and performed simultaneously. Better pass that beeswax quick, or we’ll never be able to leave our seats – or rather, we’d never let them leave.
Finally, wrapping up this eclectic concert was the melodious Choir with a sweet and soothing rendition of Rent’s “Seasons of Love”— reminding us all that the Brentwood year is coming to a close.
Brentwood life can sometimes demand a juggling act, especially when exams are just around the corner. The music students showed their ability to perform perfectly under a multitude of stresses, and showed their capacity to balance their academic work load with extra concert rehearsals. Their, no doubt, tireless efforts created a memorable atmosphere and performance Thursday night, one that staff and students alike won’t be forgetting any time soon.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “Music is the universal language of mankind”. We heard the words last Thursday night.
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