Mon, 23 Oct 2000

Twilite orchestra goes to the campus

JAKARTA (JP): Campus and popular music are at times intertwined -- one feeds the other. Pop or rock gigs are a regular thing on stage while dangdut sometimes sneaks onto a more informal milieu.

In the late 1970s, the latter was made popular by a bunch of students, from a respectful university, who founded a dangdut vocal group. All of sudden, singing dangdut was not kampungan or old-fashioned anymore. So was the "Jazz Goes to Campus" at the University of Indonesia -- the next will take place next month -- an annual musical festival that has been running for 23 years.

Sadly, it doesn't seem the case for classical music or anything that comes with orchestral stereotypes: serious, intricate tunes that are only fit for the older generation.

So, as an effort to entice the campus public to orchestral music, Addie MS with his Twilite Orchestra launched a special program to play at campuses.

Starting from the University of Indonesia in Depok in March, the Twilite Orchestra team had successfully tamed its unusual venue, the Balairung hall. It took three days to set up the hall -- notoriously known for its high-ceilinged architecture that responds to sound in a series of echoes -- complete with a built- up stage where members of the orchestra and the university's choir "Paragita" performed.

A compromising choice for a repertoire was the next step. While inserting a heavy tune, such as Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata, Twilite Orchestra also featured popular numbers like John Williams' Raiders March from the Indiana Jones soundtrack.

In the second round, they hope to do the same magic at Jakarta's Istora Senayan on the 24th of October. Titled "Musicademia", the concert targets campuses in Jakarta. The repertoire is even bumpier than the one in March. Indonesian march songs such as Sumpah Pemuda(to commemorate Youth Pledge Day) will be sung after excerpts of operas such as Carmina Burana, while Harvey Malaiholo will belt out Barry Manilow's popular I Write the Song.

Anything to entice these students to classical music. All comes with an affordable price, thanks to private sponsors. If the earlier concert in Depok attracted around 4,000 students who paid Rp 10,000 each, tickets for the one in Istora are being sold at Rp 7,000 each with the hope that its 6,000 seating capacity will be fully booked. (Helly Minarti)