On Sunday I went to see a performance by the Virginia Choral Society. It was, as always, a wonderful performance. Audience members ranged in ages and attires, from the very young to the very old, and from the "Sunday best" to the "just got in from mowing the lawn" attire. We were all there to hear some music and, I suspect, many of us knew someone performing on stage.
The program called for "music of the 60's 70's and 80's" and sure enough, the 100+ member choral group sang medleys from those decades. As one who was a youngster in those years, the tunes were very familiar to me...not one song they sang was new to me...but I did refrain from singing along (unlike the gentleman who positioned himself next to me in the back row of the auditorium.)
Now, I have heard these songs sung by choral groups in the past -- you know, like the junior high and high school choruses, and such. And while the sound itself is a little different when subjected to the medley format and the choral arrangement, the young people singing with exuberance (if only mediocre talent) still present a "modern" feel to the music....(yeah, yeah, I know 60's, 70's and 80's ain't "modern"...). But on Sunday, I seriously found myself laughing as the crowd enthusiastically tapped their feet, and programs, for it suddenly struck me as very funny that octogenarians were belting out, "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A" and women well beyond their "teenager in love" decades, were lamenting with, "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to!"
I got so tickled that at one point tears were literally rolling down my cheeks. But I tried my best to contain myself. Then, as if the gods were testing my very decorum, they burst into, "young man.......," "oh, my goodness," I thought, "here we go..." And sure enough, the crowd was on their feet and doing the infamous Y.M.C.A. "dance" as the choral society, dressed in their dignified tuxedos and long black formals, led the frenzy.
At one point, the younger crowd in the audience, decided it was too much to contain themselves in the confines of the seats and they moved out and to the back of the auditorium, where they were actually swing dancing as the choral society sang. And a round of applause went out for this group of about ten teens, as they took their version of the "bunny hop" down the center aisle. Even the performers on stage grinned as they sang, watching their audience thoroughly enjoy themselves..... just a hunch, but I doubt they get the kind of audience participation too often, with their standard choral material.
I took a few pictures, during the performance, during intermission... my batteries were exhausted before the "sock-hop" in the back of the auditorium, so the memory of those scenes will simply have to remain captured in my own mind. But I caught a few shots of the diverse make-up of the audience... I even looked down at my own attire. Yeah, I was in my blue jeans and sneakers...no, I haven't really grown up I guess...
I had a great time with the music, but there is just something about the whole white-haired group "jiving"....