And so, perhaps reflecting the Circle of Life, House Music is over for another year. As predicted, it was a vintage year. And also, as predicted, not everyone agreed with the results!
In sport it is generally very straightforward to decide who the winner is. In football it is the team who scores the most goals, and in the long jump it is the person who jumps the furthest; although sometimes the underdog pulls something extra out of the bag, or just gets lucky, and the best side does not win. Even still, the winner is not disputed because their victory was quantifiable.
In musical performance, however, it’s not so easy. On Saturday we were treated to no less than 25 different performances, and the variety was extraordinary. The instrumental items were That’s the way I like it, The Pink Panther, a James Bond medley, Titanium, Twist and Shout and Yammin’ out. The latter was ‘scored’ for violin, piano and beat-boxer, and I sympathised with our adjudicator as he scratched his head and wondered how to compare this on a like for like, quantifiable basis with That’s the way I like it; personally I quite enjoyed the Afro wigs and the shameless posing! Then again, the Bond medley was extremely well rehearsed, and Twist and Shout looked and sounded the part too. Criteria: Which would I buy a recording of? Which would I want to see again, and again… Which was the most accurate? Is it really that surprising that we don’t all arrive at the same winner?
The standard of vocal ensembles this year was really high. Eight days a week (Farm) was very assured and the tight choreography really enhanced their performance, whereas Eddystone’s delightfully understated rendition of Homeward Bound was, for me, a highlight of the evening. Clarendon gave us some lovely harmonies in Say a little prayer, whilst Nutfield’s choice of repertoire, a medley of Disney songs, ensured that there was plenty to tug at the heart-strings. Grove’s I can be your hero proved that their formula from last year still works, and I think it’s fair to say that what School’s Misty Mountain/Hit me baby remix lacked in refinement, it more than made up for it in entertainment value! Which one would I most like to see again? All of them! But all for different reasons, and each of them valid as far as I’m concerned.
I hope that the one thing which everyone would agree on is that it really was an amazing evening of entertainment, Monkton at it’s best.