Celebrating 12 years of singing, Psalmideo Chorale put on another outstanding concert with a wide-ranging programme, impeccable harmonies sung entirely from memory and mostly without accompaniment, giving lots of voice and tons of charisma. On the programme are sections of classically-set religious texts, Fillipino folk and pop songs and songs by the Beatles, The Lion King and Frozen. A handful of bright-voiced soloists livened up the evening in numerous numbers. Eric Robert Morales Santos conducted the team, while pianist Aditya David Permana accompanied in only two numbers.
Entitled Encore!, the theme of the evening is to present songs that you would like to hear over and over again, with a somewhat Fillipino slant of course. As with last year's concert, a projection showing relevant images of each song provided colourful backdrops throughout the evening.
The opening number, Morten Lauridsen's setting of O Magnum Mysterium, isn't quite as hummable as the concert's theme would have you believe, but quickly established the technical proficiency of the choir and its members. The evening really started to come alive with a trio of folksongs in Fillipino dialects, which roused up the audience of Filipino expats.
Another highlight for me is an accapella arrangement of Rossini's William Tell Overture where the choir imitated instrumental textures. While some lines and entrances could be cleaner, the infectiousness of the music and its delivery made this a standout piece of the evening.
The trio of Filipino pop songs were very well received by the Filipino expats in the audience, inciting uproarious belly laughs even as the non-Pinoy crowd wondered what the big deal was. Perhaps surtitles on the projections would help to bridge that gap a little. My favourite number of the evening was their presentation of Circle of Life, where the entire choir imitated various animal sounds and sang harmonies while a soloist delivered the song. That number created such a vivid sound world that took us out of the concert hall straight into the African safari.
After the main programme ended with Let it Go, written by a Fillipino-American as reminded by the evening's emcee, the choir gave us an encore of Christmas songs rang in the festive season as we said our goodbyes. What a nice way to ring in the festive season!