Music Open Evening

Starting college has been one of the biggest steps that I have taken, going completely out of my comfort zone into a new environment-knowing nobody. It is one of the scariest things that we have to do in life, going somewhere new and having to meet and bond with people, sharing your passion and listening to others. However once you get past that first step, you can make relationships that will last a lifetime.

College has given many opportunities regarding performing and creating music, where I have been able to work with others to perform to audiences bigger than I ever have done before. Rehearsing and working with friends is extremely enjoyable as you are able to listen to and respect each other’s different ideas, to form new sounds with everybody’s individual input. Being able to collaborate musically with friends is fun and exciting, which is why when four of us performed at our college’s open evening, we were able to share another musical experience together and continue to practise our musical skills.

The performance took place in the performance hall and lasted for two hours where we played eight songs, and repeated the set around three times. This was a new experience for all of us having to repeat the same songs a number of times, however it fit for the purpose and kept people entertained when visiting the college. The songs we sang were a mix of genres and each being on stage at different times, made the performance more dynamic and different.

A solo, acoustic performance of Kelsea Ballerini’s XO kicked off the set, creating an upbeat feel and suited the environment to form a buzz. A mellow, yet soothing duet cover of Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love with gorgeous harmonies, made a sudden change to the set, but showed the dynamic in genre and the ability of ensemble work. This showed how young performers are able to take old classic songs, and change the shape of them to suit it to their style and audience. A duet of Vance Joy’s Riptide and Of Monsters and Men’s Little Talks, both by the same performers, consisted of a contagious guitar rhythm and simple harmonies, which brought out the best in both individual vocals. Seeing two performers sing two songs, one after the other, shows a musical skill of consistency, which was a good thing to show to the visitors. Another performer then took to the stage, where three of them sang Ex’s and Oh’s by Elle King, which was probably the most modern song in the set. This song created a positive, rhythmic feel with the three part harmonies floating over the guitar, adding thicker texture and a different tone to the previous songs. Finally ending the set there were two other songs where all four of us performed, one being Valerie by Amy Whinehouse and the other Put Your Records On by Corrine Bailey-Rae. These songs we had performed previously together, so they came over as the most confident and well-rehearsed. Because there were four vocalists, we were able to experiment more with the harmonies and add different techniques and layers. This helped us to show off our musical talent, which made the performance side more enjoyable as we were able to have more fun and relax on stage.

Valerie is our favourite song to perform all together because of the two part harmonies that we all split between each other. Two vocalists sing the main melody tune, and the other two sing the harmony over the top. Even though there is only a two-part harmony being sung, because of the quantity of voices, it has a bigger impact making the chorus sound full of energy filled with different tones and timbres, creating a gospel, joyful feel. The sound that projects when performing this song is beyond words and is so enjoyable to perform, which I believe comes across in the performance and reaches to the audience.

Performing in different environments for different purposes is really important I believe when you are a music student, as it is good to be exposed to different atmosphere’s and audiences. Not every performance may be the highlight of the month or week, but it gives you experience which is important for any young person interested in the music industry and understanding the purpose behind the performance e.g for pleasure or for a particular purpose.