While performing the Gregorio Allegri aria “Miserere, mei, Deus”, a boy in the Kings College Choir broke out a big yellow balloon he was hiding behind his back, inhaled deeply, and returned to the performance with the ability to sing in a much higher pitch, which was needed for the composition. According to Chaplain Richard Lloyd Morgan, using helium to reach high notes was preferable to surgery.
The complexity of the regulations involved mean that it really is no longer practical to have young boys singing in the choir. This is a great shame because high male voices have been part of the choirs sound for more than 500 years. After a lengthy consultation process during which we learned that the surgical solution was surprisingly unpopular with the choral scholars, somebody in the chemistry department came up with a very simple solution and now all we need is a very large tank of helium.
The video was released just in time for April Fools’ Day.
Released on April Fool’s day, April 1 2014.