"Space concerns and oddball janitors aside, MPLS (imPulse)'s precise singing broke through and was the star of the show." Thanks much to Kyle Weaver and the Northern Voice Festival for this fantastic review!
MPLS (imPulse) waves farewell to winter
With overly pleasant spring weather outside last Friday, the title of MPLS (imPulse)’s recent show, “Good Golly, It’s Still Winter!” turned out to be a bit ironic.
The show featured a collection of first-winter-then-spring themed pieces that really showed off the young ensemble’s singing chops.
True to the 24-voice group’s stated objective of singing in non-traditional spaces, the group performed in the atrium of the Padilla CRT building in Minneapolis. The space obviously presented the group with a little bit of risk and not just acoustically either, as evidenced by the maintenance man who loudly dragged a trash cart onto the balcony above the ensemble then sheepishly waved when he noticed the audience staring at him.
Space concerns and oddball janitors aside, MPLS (imPulse)’s precise singing broke through and was the star of the show.
The show started off with “Winter Songs” by Lita Grier, which was well sung, but a bit too avante garde for my tastes. The second piece, “Winter Song,” featuring a very lovely duet from Megan Myhre and Emily Streeper and accompanied by Arlo Vande Vegte on guitar, was much more to my liking.
These days what would a winter-themed concert be these days without at least a passing reference to Disney’s Frozen? “Heimr Arnadalr” and “Eatnemen Vuelie” were the two pieces selected to meet that end. Other works performed included “Ice” by Bruce Sled, “Cold, Haily, Windy Night,” arranged by Jack Vishneski, “Snowforms” by R. Murray Schafer, and “We Bloomed in Spring,” by Edie Hill.
Throughout the show, the ensemble and director Samuel Grace kept the atmosphere light and fun by sharing the amusing winter-themed haikus the group members had written and demonstrating the silly theater games they play to build esprit de corp among their members.
Finally, leave it to the modern-day hero of a capella singing, Deke Sharon, to provide arrangements for the two best pieces of the evening. The first Sharon piece featured the ensemble’s men performing a very hip, modern-sounding chart of the jazz standard “Summertime.” The song included a great solo from Ben Dulak, perhaps one of the most relaxed looking tenors I can ever remember seeing. The group finished off its hour-long set with its best song of the night, a Sharon arrangement of Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr. Blue Sky.”
All in all, MPLS (imPulse) put together a wonderful, relaxed and entertaining show.
View the original review here.