The Collegium Regale, a portion of the Kings College choir, gave their annual presentation on the river behind the iconic college on Sunday evening. It’s a good event: King’s is one of two colleges that use all male singers (St. Johns is the other), and the alto voices add to make a wonderful mix. The men are all bundled onto a raft of punts across the river as the audience fills the greens on the other (one of the few times that anyone is allowed to walk on the grass without being a Fellow of the College).
The the breeze blows and the sun sets while the choir sings classical and pop, improvising songs and banter. The a capella voices lift across the water, sometimes sounding like church, sometimes like a barbershop quartet, while everyone sips drinks and nibbles dinner. It’s very relaxed and placid, a nice break in the week.
The boats add an unpredictable element to the evening as well. The normal traffic of punts continues too drift by, sometimes a wonderful counterpoint, sometimes disruptive. A student fell off of one during the first set, splashing around beneath the bridge. Another student, thinking that poling harder would make the boat turn, managed to ram the raft of singers (nobody fell in).
And, at the end of the evening, they push the singers off and down the river, still in full voice. And with only one person needed to do the poling and guide the boat up and down in front of the crowd.