THE WHIFFENPOOFS (Yale, USA)
THE WHIFFENPOOFS IN CONCERT and ROYAL PHIL PRESENTS THE WHIFFENPOOFS
IAN ROACH HALL, SCOTCH COLLEGE and ST. MICHAEL’S CHURCH, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Monday 13 August, 19:00 and Tuesday 14 August, 20:00
The Yale Whiffenpoofs are the world’s oldest and best known collegiate a cappella group. Founded in 1909, 14 senior men are selected for one year only to represent the group. The Whiffenpoofs arrived on Australian soil on Monday 13 August 2012 as part of their seven continent tour of the globe! Jumping straight off a plane from Bali the group went straight into a string of four concerts and workshops on their first day concluding with a performance at Ian Roach Hall at Scotch College. Their second day was just as jam packed ending with a concert at St. Michael’s Church in Melbourne.
Dressed in full concert tuxedos complete with tails and white gloves the young men of The Whiffenpoofs charmed the audience right from the opening number through to the standing ovation and three encores. A thoroughly entertaining night of rich harmonies and soaring solos The Whiffenpoofs took us on a journey through a variety of repertoire from folk songs through to current popular repertoire. This review is a combination of both the Scotch College and St. Michael’s Church concerts for the Whiffenpoofs.
Picking a single highlight has been a challenge with fantastic solos from all the men throughout the concert. Special mention needs to be made of Jeremy’s emotionally connected performance of “Skinny Love”, Rafa’s powerful rendition of “Nature Boy” and Michael’s entertaining version of “Operator”. With the group standing for most of the night in the same semi-circle position it was great to see a trio step forward for “Midnight Train to Georgia” complete with amusing comedic choreography that was well received by the audience.
The banter between songs, though engaging and well drilled, was a tad twee, and a little long-winded, but apparently perfectly pitched judging from the audience reaction. From a technical stand-point, the volume between the soloists and the ensemble at their concert at Scotch College was unbalanced though this appeared to be from a combination of the mic level being too low and the singers not standing close enough to the mic. This inconsistency was unfortunate and avoidable.
Overall, The Whiffenpoofs put on a thoroughly entertaining show inspiring the 500+ audience full predominantly of fellow singers.
Reviewer: Amelia Alder (Director, Vocal Australia)