Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Intonations Choir

 

Christ Church Cathedral: Intonations

 

IT’S great to see some old and new faces in the inky Hamlet-black outfits of Waterford’s Intonations Choir in the marvellous setting of Christ Church Cathedral where the hand of history sits on every shoulder. It’s the Sunday lunchtime concert series that’s run by the super-efficient Geraldine Guiry with the everywhere Jack Cunningham as director. And – if you’ve got an hour to spare –  it’s just the perfect way of spending noon-time on a sunny Sunday morning where you can even say a silent prayer if you feel like it.

 

‘Their repertoire is modern and trendy, their members are singers that have come up through the ranks of musical theatre and the smiles on the faces tell of a journey that’s fun, modern and original’

 

It’s a special venue for Intonations also because they love to perform here. I’m an absolute sucker for the tender lyrics and gentle melody of Billy Joel’s “Lullabye” and Christmas just seems the perfect time to hear it:

“Goodnight my angel, now it’s time to dream and dream how wonderful your life will be; Someday your child may cry, and if you sing this lullaby, then in your heart there will always be a part of me”

I think of all the parents and grandparents here today would warm to that generational connection that we all cherish. The kids are in their element when the choir leans into “Never Enough” from the Greatest Showman because they can never get enough of the Hugh Jackman hit.

I don’t know where intrepid MD Wayne Brown got his arrangement of the Spice Girls “Wannabe” from but it was certainly a showstopper. It was quirky, gimmicky and when the basses belted out “do you wannabe my lover” in a solo, the audience cracked up. And I still have no idea what the gals really, really want… Barry Manilow’s “One Voice” is just the show-off ticket for this choir. Clean entries and exits, neat phrasing and imaginative dynamics show the choir at its best.

Caoimhe Power is a teenager with a big future ahead of her. Guesting with the choir, she sang three challenging pieces that would task any seasoned singer and came through the test with flying colours. “Once upon a December” from Anastasia is no easy sing. It’s a difficult number with significant transitions and jumps where strong phrasing is needed – and a strong range.  “Be mine” from Waitress reveals Caoimhe as a singer who understands the importance of technique. If you want to tell a story, good diction allows emotion come naturally. It’s a delight to see and hear an intelligent and talented singer and Caoimhe gives a star turn on this sunny, Sunday morning.

Well… of course don’t you know it’s touching on Christmas and we just couldn’t finish without a brace of modern Yuletide biggies. “White winter hymnal” from the Fleet Foxes debut album,  “Somewhere in my memory” from Home Alone and “Believe” from Polar Express reminds me that Christmas favourites are always in the making.

Intonations is different. Their repertoire is modern and trendy, their members are singers that have come up through the ranks of musical theatre and the smiles on the faces tell of a journey that’s fun, modern and original. Well done to Musical Director Wayne Brown who wields the baton and the excellent Richard Cody who is a sympathetic accompanist throughout.

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By Pat McEvoy, Arts Correspondent
Contact Newsdesk: 051 874951

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