Sunday, July 24, 2005

Is this the real life?

(This entry is dedicated to long-lost pal Diana Meador, who placed the first-ever request for a specific topic here at CGIOOMH.) So far the musical highlight of my current trip to Louisiana has been a performance of "Bohemian Rhapsody" by 50 or so current-day 12-to-15-year-olds. The occasion was a choral concert at the close of this summer's session of the Governor's Program for Gifted Children in Lake Charles. I was there for a reunion with classmates I hadn't seen for 30 years, only to discover a bunch of kids dressed and coiffed pretty much like they stepped out of the 1970s, performing a song from that bygone era, written more than a decade before they were born. (I vividly recall transcribing the lyrics from AM radio in high school, adding such words as "Scaramouche," "Bismillah," and "silhouetto" to my vocabulary.) The Queen song was part of a bill with a Schubert mass, a spiritual, and other choral chestnuts, so they really put the "classic" in classic rock. (Sadly, the lines telling Mama about kiIling a man by putting a bullet to his head--"pulled my trigger, now he's dead"--were excised.) It was very Langley Schools Music Project--surreally spooky, particularly when they got to the part at the end where the singer is contemplating suicide. Any way the wind blows, indeed. (At the next reunion in 3 years, I'd really, really like to hear a full-length, full-chorus performance of Pet Sounds. Any chance of that, Powers That Be?)

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