May 10, 2010

33rd Medchorus at China Medical University, Taichung

It's like sex, once you start having it, you can never stop wanting it.
Some say its like narcotic drugs, you know it's bad, but you can't help getting away from it.
I've been attending the Medchorus festival for 4 consecutive years. Since I was a freshmen this annual event poisoned my every vein and bathe me in its lethally addictive melodious substance. With each passing year as work and knowledge piled higher and free time got less and less, I would obligingly set aside time to practice chorus (though not regularly, I skip practice, a lot) and attend the Medchorus festival even if it's on the opposite end of the island - like last year, I talked myself into attending even though it's a very hectic semester. Somehow, listening to a group of well-dressed people singing on stage has an effect similar to injecting heroin into your vessel - and I just can't get enough of it every year!
This year, the host was China Medical University in Taichung. It's not that Taiwan is so big as to justify a 6-hour train ride from Hualien to Taichung, but the fact that our school cleverly plants *ahem*  isolates itself in a rather *ahem* rural place makes traveling to anywhere else an ardous and time-consuming affair.
So weeks before the event I felt like a father about to be reunited with his long-lost daughter - I can't stop humming songs we're singing at the event, I listened our songs on youtube again and again, spending hours on them, and at night when everybody else was sleeping the music replayed itself again and again in my brain - "some enchanted evening / you may see a stranger..."

This year's theme color was purple - looks good under the sun but quite kitsch when our school's basketball team also uses this color.

When I was indeed reunited with my long-lost daughter, I felt so at home listening to a wide range of musical selections from all the 10 medical schools. It's worth noting tendencies of chorus to move away from traditional chamber music of Bach and Mozart to fun, energetic, expressive, and infectious musicals and soundtracks - like Miss Saigon last year, Jeckyll and Hyde, South Pacific, Les Miserables and West Side Story this year.
There's one irritating fact about Taiwanese chorus - their pronunciation. Some lyrics-laden musicals are quite tongue-twisting and buccal-demanding - lyrics writers love them, somehow, like "the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain" from My Fair Lady or "at the end of the day you are another day older", and "as the righteous hurry past, they don't hear the little ones crying, and the winter is hurdling on fast, ready to kill. One day less to be living".
With Taiwanese singers rapidly firing English most you can hear is "Murder! Murder! In the light fair! [in the night air] Murder! Murder! it's a kite-flare [it's a nightmare] Murder! Murder! It's a fight mare! [right scare]"
However, at the end of the day we will realize that it's not the fluency of the music or the accuracy of the notes, nor is it the flow of the stances that counts for the narcotic effects. It's the fun of it - the fun making noise, the fun of sharing something that belongs exclusively to us but is oh so infectious. Trust me, it's really like having sex or taking illicit substances.

Will I do it again next year? Oh yes! I'm so deeply addicted