Three stars

Indiana History Center;

Feb. 10

“Mood Indigo,” showcasing 27 of the 150-member Symphonic Choir, is a huge leap into a different genre. Un-mic-ed voices and acoustic instruments were a gift to the ears, and the “easy” tempo and rhythms were a delightful change from the aggressively amped and pounding beat that‘s the expected fare since rock rolled over the music scene. Reaching into the early to mid 20th century with choral arrangements of old chestnuts, ISC director Eric Stark is widening the range not only for the choir but equally for an audience. His spoken notes before each piece provided context and what it is we should be paying attention to in the lyrics and the music, and replaced the absence of printed programs — perhaps a way of “going green”? Best was a rendition from Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians because it showed how a group communicates through a distinctive choral style. When this ISC offshoot cuts its chops on its new vocal path and establishes its own “voice,” it will be a contender for what Stark refers to as “classical jazz choral singing.” Jack Gilfoy on drums and Manning on piano and bass were perfect in every way as accompanists. Other players were featured in select numbers.

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