Rajaton: Finnish for "boundless"

A cappella singing group lives up to its name

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Here’s something you might not know: Membership in the Association of Canadian Choral Communities is almost 40,000 strong, making it the largest group of performing artists in this country.

While that might seem like a surprising fact to people outside the world of choral music, the March 7th concert that saw the Finnish singing group Rajaton perform with a massed choir over 500 singers from all over Nova Scotia went a long way towards explaining the popularity of this art form.

Rajaton was in town to perform with Symphony NS (By all accounts, the two shows, which featured music by ABBA, were outstanding) and to lead workshops in a three-day choral festival.

Sunday’s concert was truly worth forgoing two hours of sunshine for. The six members of Rajaton perform entirely a cappella, and they create heavenly harmonies and the most startlingly realistic instrument sounds. (At one point, I had to remind myself that there was no drum set hidden off stage.)

Their choice of music was varied, from the haunting “Dobbin’s Flowery Vale” to a high-energy, dramatically-choreographed version of “La Dolce Vita”. This group is the whole package—attractive, charming and oh-so-talented. They were received like rock stars, and deserved the treatment.

For the finale, the massed choir (which included singers of all ages) and Rajaton performed an ode to the brevity and beauty of life called “Butterfly”. It brought tears to my eyes, and was the perfect end to an amazing afternoon.

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