Every year the societies at Cardiff University get together for a weeklong Fringe Festival, showcasing everything that they have to offer. Last Sunday the atmosphere in Y Plas was full of energy as the music societies kicked off the first event of week. If you like everything about music, then the Students’ Union was the place to be.
The Festival’s music showcase is a dream come true for every music enthusiast as it caters for nearly every single musical taste, with performances from a range of genres. From opera to jazz choir, brass band to wind band and cello ensemble to jazz orchestra; there’s something for everyone. What is impressive about this showcase is the amount of repertoire that was covered in just a few hours; there were numbers from musicals such a Les Miserables, music from Jurassic Park a vocal arrangement of Britney Spears’ Toxic and by the end of the night everyone was singing and dancing along to a Muse Medley performed by the universities’ wind orchestra.
There were many moments in performances that really stood out, with one of the highlights of the evening being members of the jazz society taking to the floor and playing versions of Chameleon and Uptown Funk in a completely unscripted jam. Throughout these songs, more and more members would grab their instruments until there was an explosion of sound in Y Plas.
The audience’s enthusiastic involvement really contributed to the amazing atmosphere to the night. They provided support to the performers and put them at their ease; singing along, dancing, clapping and cheering enthusiastically at the end of each performance. Much like the jazz society jam nights I have reviewed, the audience provided an informal atmosphere in which to perform.
Not only was the audience happy, many of the conductors’ reactions to the night were positive. Conductor of the jazz choir Iestyn commented:
“I was very impressed with the organisation of the evening, but even more impressed with the quality of music performed by every ensemble. There was huge diversity in type of ensemble and repertoire performed, and I guess the music showcase is unique in that sense. I was really proud of what the Jazz choir performed. It’s really difficult for voices to fill the entirety of the students union but I was really impressed with the sound that we made – I think we were all put at rest by the relaxed atmosphere of the evening, and I guess the bar helped with that too. We performed 4 songs of a real high quality, and I think the audience enjoyed them as much as we enjoyed singing.”
Despite being a huge space to fill with sound, Y Plas proved itself to be an ideal venue for the night; Chris, one of the conductors for the wind orchestra said that:
“It was a great atmosphere; lots of new faces were cheering loudly for all the ensembles. Y Plas is always a difficult venue to perform in as the casual atmosphere can mean that the music is occasionally drowned out with chatting although in this instance it only added to the good vibes”
From this night it was clear to see the hard work, dedication and commitment people put into their ensembles and the huge support network they have around them. It was a fantastic night from start to finish and an event not to be missed for all you music lovers out there.