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My ArtsFestFirst: Aston Performing Arts Academy aka APAA

I bustled into the Town Hall for a medley of songs from the APAA. We have history. For I am one of the original members of this Academy when it started some years back.

I attended weekly to study my saxophone. That beautiful academy was a haven for me and I loved having an outlet for my sax. I also got to learn the steel pans in soprano and alto, as well as the bass steel drums. The choir was also another class of mine and we harmonised wonderfully in that group. So when I spotted one of the founders on my mosey through the stalls, Angela, it was like another push to get back to my musical roots and I was glad when she urged me to come and see what they were about now! I could not reject her.

Arriving minutes before the due time to start, I stumbled upon the end of their soundcheck. Time keeping was never that tight for performances from what I remember – but that was due to the fact the academy was just finding its feet. But things always go wrong with live technical performances so I cannot judge on this.

Twenty minutes later and the introduction began. The musicians were already on stage – a piano, two guitars (bass and melody), and drummer and two saxophonists. I was disappointed as we had played with a large orchestra back in the day, but glad that the saxophones still remained nonetheless.
Enter the choir dressed in red and black, looking good people!

The choir presented an array of feel good tunes. A portion of old-school renditions, seasoned with gospel and salted with r’n’b. There were minimal breaks between the songs, I expect, to soak up as much performance time as possible in their limited fourty-five-minute slot. But the great thing about that is keeping the energy going., and we loved it!

I was baffled by the two members set apart from the main choir. Clearly the more powerful voices in the arrangement, but why set them at the back? I think unity is tres important in a choir and that was for a reason carnsarit!!! Anywho, I’m still impressed by the standard of the performance, you go APAA!

In conclusion, I could pick at everything that, technically, could improve the performance but it would be pointless. The song list was excellent, the delivery was refreshing, everybody looked like they were really enjoying the performance they were giving and the energy was immense, it flooded the audience. Plus, these are young people, mostly – although the official age range was 12 – 30something! Haha.
The closing tribute to Micheal Jackson, Thriller was spiffing! With a musical interlude accompanied by the backing duo the main choir leaves the stage and returns in costume to do the breakdown, Thriller dance! I was actually quite jealous that they knew the moves, only because I haven’t learned them yet, but now I have them on camera, I’ll be a pro soon! Bwahahahaha

For your energy, enjoyment and entertainment, APAA, three and a half thumbs up!


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