Partsong, a highly anticipated event, took place in Silk Hall on Thursday October 15th, with a live broadcast in the Theatre. Each Social had an a cappella group, roughly consisting of ten people; the music performed varied greatly but mainly consisted of pop songs. The adjudicator was Howard Ionascu (below), former Head of Academic Music at Radley and Director of the Junior Academy.
First of all, B Social performed ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ by Guns n’ Roses. They worked well as an ensemble, although I did not feel that, in the solos, the backing vocals were strong enough. The rhythm in the piece was consistent, only the backing beat, made by claps, varied in volume often; I do not feel this effect was very successful. Overall, I feel this was a good performance, however, although they worked well as an ensemble, they did not perform to a great quality in the backing vocals.
E Social were next with the first compilation of the night: music ranging from ‘Stand by Me’ to ‘Rolling in the Deep’. The soloists were very strong and there was great contrast in the backing vocals; however sometimes, they did drown out the soloists. This was a good performance by E Social; however the fact they had such a big group meant when there was only one soloist.
K Social performed ‘Bam Bam’, which had a strong backing beat, made with the foot and hands. They also sung with an upbeat tempo and worked well in harmony. Their singing was well-balanced throughout the range.
G Social performed ‘Thinking out loud’ by Ed Sheeran. Although I feel this song may not have been the best choice according to the expected format, I think that they adapted it very well, and used the use of pauses well. They sung reflectively with warm backing vocals.
D Social chose the ‘Sound of Silence’. I feel this was a really good choice for the format, although they did not exploit the full potential that their choice offered. I feel this was because they the majority of the song in unison and did not have strong backing vocals.
‘Help’, delivered by C Social, was sung confidently. A really good ensemble with complementing harmonies helped the overall feel of the piece. The backing vocals did well to measure their collective volume when the soloists sung, in order to allow them to be heard clearly.
J, with ‘Hunger of the Pine’, a good song for this format of performance, started well, with the gradual building up to the climax of the song where J performed a great mood swing from mellow to energetic. I felt that their backing vocals were not quite as effective in the livelier parts of the song.
H Social performed with good mood changes, in time and with good harmony amongst the singers. Along with great contrast, I felt this was a highly effective piece.
A Social performed ‘The XX’ with great fluency and harmony in the backing vocals; complementing their soloists greatly. I felt there was also good balance in the piece.
Finally, F performed the second and last compilation of the concert. They performed with great colour and a lively tempo. Their piece conveyed a great sense of style.
In the end; the results were as follows: 3rd place to G, 2nd place to C and 1st to J. I feel this concert was a success as a whole, showing very different acts and personalities from all of the Socials.
Alex Senior, E Social, Shell
Mr Ionascu thanked all involved for a “wonderful evening”.