Singing success

2014-08-07 00:00

THE members of the Pietermaritzburg Children’s Choir couldn’t stop breaking into song when they attended the World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia, last month.

The children sang in the city’s parks and on trams, and were even joined on one occasion by a choir from Canada to sing The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

It was the first time that the Pietermaritzburg Children’s Choir, founded in 1988, had travelled to the games and they returned from the event with silver diplomas in three categories: children’s choirs, Musica Sacra with accompaniment and scenic folklore.

The choir was among 420 choral groups from around the world, including 15 from South Africa, competing at the Games, the Olympics of choral singing.

Last week, the singers — who are in Grade 4 to Grade 8, and are conducted by Johan Grobler, from Epworth, and accompanied by Jaco Dippenaar, from Hilton College — showcased their award-winning programme in a special evening concert in the Epworth Chapel.

Highlights included the choir’s performance of Josh Groban’s Lullaby, the challenging Ubi Caritas by Ola Gieilo, the South African Christmas song, Come, Colours Rise! by Grant McLachlan and Valerie Webdell’s Angel in Eternal Flight.

The children also had a lot of fun indulging in some gumboot dancing and performing traditional Zulu, Sotho, Afrikaans, Venda and Tswana songs.

Speaking to parents and supporters, Grobler said everyone who had contributed to the choir’s participation had helped give the choir an amazing experience.

In addition to singing, the children managed to fit in some fun activities, including swimming in the Baltic Sea and going to a water park.

“The support we received shows that the community of Pietermaritzburg and the midlands wants to have a community choir,” Grobler said.

He also urged school principals and teachers at the concert to get behind the choir and to help children in less fortunate circumstances to join in the fun.

• If you would like to find out more about the choir, contact the co-ordinator, Bernadine Elmer-English, at 072 463 8317 (from 3 pm to 8 pm) or go to the website www.pmbcc.co.za

• arts@witness.co.za

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