Silver Chips Online

InToneNation impresses in spring concert

Blairís a cappella group doesnít miss a beat

By Alex Hyder, Online Op-Ed Editor
May 31, 2006
InToneNation, Blair's a cappella group, performed in its annual spring concert last night in the band room from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m.

Performing without musical instruments or accompaniment outside their own voices, the group entertained a packed crowd with their resonant tone and flawlessly blended harmonies. The night's lineup featured a remarkable variety of tunes, ranging from a cappela standards to unique interpretations of popular songs and experimental arrangements.

InToneNation's technical director, senior Samir Paul, opened the night, introducing the group as "the most attractive, witty, well-dressed a cappella group at Blair" (failing to note that InToneNation is Blair's only a cappella group) and making a plug for the group's new album before asking the audience to prepare for the singing of the national anthem. Much to the surprise of all present, the group immediately launched into the strains of "O Canada" as junior Diego Ardila marched in waving the Canadian flag. Although the audience broke out laughing, the members did not acknowledge the joke until they had finished the song. Paul then invited the audience to stand and sing along with "The Star-Spangled Banner" to open the night.

InToneNation then moved into their first set with the group's trademark songs, Chicago's "Saturday in the Park" and Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'," which featured a moving solo by the group's director, conductor, arranger and vocalist, senior Nathan Blustein. The first set showcased many of InToneNation's standards, featuring such varied numbers as the traditional hymn, "Amazing Grace, "the 1950s do-wop hit, "In the Still of the Night," with a mellow solo by senior Joe Dario and 1980s rocker "Sweet Dreams," showcasing senior soprano Linden Vongsathorn's poignant, tremulant voice.

During a brief intermission, Paul urged the audience to order copies of InToneNation's newest album, which he said featured "professional recording quality" and "incredible sound" before playing the album's first track over the band room's speaker system. The quality of both the music and the recording was indeed quite notable.

The second set had a manic-depressive character, contrasting some of the night's saddest songs with some of the most upbeat. After singing InToneNation standards "The Longest Time" and "Both Hands," the program moved into what Blustein called "not at all a happy song," The Beatles' "For No One." Immediately afterwards, the group sang the upbeat "She's No Lady," a humorous blues tune in which Paul intoned, "she's no lady, she's my wife." The contrast continued by juxtaposing such melancholy songs as James Taylor's "That Lonesome Road" and Don McLean's "Vincent" with upbeat tunes like "Material Girl" and The Proclaimers' recent hit "I'm Gonna Be." All were rendered expertly and with great emotion, much to the delight of the audience.

More information about InToneNation, including information about ordering their album, is available through their website.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/6525