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Choral Fixation Hooks Crowd at Debut Concert

Photo courtesy of Luke Villapaz.

By Juliet Ben-Ami

At their debut performance on Tuesday, Choral Fixation sang true to their name and locked in the attention of their wall-to-wall audience.

Peter Hodgson, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’13 and musical director, led the a capella group on stage in a single-file line and blew one penetrating note into the pitch pipe before cueing the singers into their first song. All eighteen of these talented FCLC students were dressed in jeans and white tops.

Choral Fixation began with “Love Psalm,” arranged by Darmon Meade, which they sang serenely before introducing themselves to their captive audience.

After a brief introduction from Hodgson, the spirited crew burst into harmony and got into synchronized hip-tapping and head-bobbing for Sharon and Raugh’s arrangement of “The Longest Time” by Billy Joel. The sprightly singers paired their tight vocals with endearing partner choreography. Selected male-female duets were scattered throughout the arrangement, and some lucky ladies in the audience were serenaded by some of the male members of the group. All of the tenors in the group, which included Stephen Williams, FCLC ’12, Nobeen Loqman, FCLC ’13, Max Wollner FCLC ’13 and Justin Briner, FCLC ’13, leapt off the stage to sing to a set of flattered females.

When the singers prepared for their “Lady Gaga Medley” arranged by the UMBC Cleftomaniacs, they got in V-formation and each struck a different Gaga-like pose. Then the group burst into a Phantom-of-the-Opera-like harmonic progression before soloists Dana Walsh and Justin Briner, both FCLC ’13, exploded onto the stage with commanding solos and sensual choreography in true Gaga form. The ensemble even emulated some of the choreography from Gaga’s music videos for “Bad Romance” and “Paparazzi.” Check out the video of the Gaga medley here.

Following the Gaga-inspired performance, Choral Fixation sang an arrangement of Eric Clapton’s “Change the World” in which RJ Vaillancourt, FCLC ’12, and Chantal Freeman, FCLC ’13, delivered soulful solos as the group hummed behind them. Then they sang Chris Rishel’s arrangement of “Magic” during which Max Wollner and Hannah Beck, FCLC ’13, took the lead in separate solos.

For the finale, the group performed a version of  “Walking on Broken Glass,” arranged by their very own Peter Hodgson. A smile slid across the otherwise composed conductor’s face as the vivacious vocalists sang their hearts out with Isobel Menard, FCLC ’13, leading the group in a booming solo that resonated throughout the Atrium.

The audience was captivated by Choral Fixation’s titillating combination of chillingly tight vocals, seductive Broadway-style choreography and unbridled passion for their art.

Throughout the performance, the audience was pin-drop silent with the exception of their uproarious applause. The audience’s broad smiles illuminated the Atrium as they sat listening and watching in amazement of their fantastically talented friends and classmates on stage.

For more information on performances by Choral Fixation, check out the group’s page on Facebook or e-mail them.

[Ed. Note: Missed out on the show? See Choral Fixation in action again tonight, opening for Splinter Group’s “Finals Countdown” in Pope Auditorium at 8:30. Admission is free for Fordham students.]

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