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February 16, 2004


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Six chaps with microphones brought down the house at Uihlein Hall on Friday evening. The King's Singers, the British male vocal ensemble that has toured the world for the last three decades with a repertoire ranging from Renaissance madrigals to contemporary pop, appeared with the MSO Pops under the baton of Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra assistant conductor Gregory Vajda. Although the King's Singers, an ensemble consisting of two countertenors, a tenor, two baritones and a bass, performed several numbers accompanied by the MSO Pops, it was in their various a cappella selections that one really heard what makes these singers special.

Performing an a cappella arrangement of Duke Ellington's "Creole Love Call," the group effectively became an instrumental ensemble. They used their hands in front of their faces, in their mouths and on their throats to create the sounds of reed and brass instruments, complete with plunger mute effects. In the program's second half they managed to mesh barbershop, doo-wop and the Beatles in a delightful rendition of Lennon and McCartney's "Honey Pie."

The singers have a fantastic blend, spot-on ensemble skills and an apparently endless repertoire - this program ranged from North American folk songs to jazz standards and Beatles tunes. But they also have fun, and a lot of it, when they sing. They seem as entertained as their audience when they perform. They closed the evening with rollicking renditions of Lennon and McCartney's "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" and "All You Need Is Love," followed by a funky, fun encore of "Yellow Submarine."

Posted by acapnews at February 16, 2004 7:59 AM


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