8 local pupils to perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall

2017-03-10 15:02
Excited to be winging their way to the Big Apple and Carnegie Hall today are GHS pupils (from left) Zibusiso Ndlovu (15), Nolwazi Nkwanyana (16), Akahlulwa Dlamini (17), Amu Nkasa (15), Brandy Zulu and Sara McInerney (17). Also members of the KwaZulu-Natal Youth Wind Band are (inset, left) Rachael van Rensburg from St Anne’s Diocesan College and (inset, right) Emma de Wet from St John’s DSG, with teacher Joshua Boudan, who will accompany the pupils to the Symphonic Wind Band Festival.

Excited to be winging their way to the Big Apple and Carnegie Hall today are GHS pupils (from left) Zibusiso Ndlovu (15), Nolwazi Nkwanyana (16), Akahlulwa Dlamini (17), Amu Nkasa (15), Brandy Zulu and Sara McInerney (17). Also members of the KwaZulu-Natal Youth Wind Band are (inset, left) Rachael van Rensburg from St Anne’s Diocesan College and (inset, right) Emma de Wet from St John’s DSG, with teacher Joshua Boudan, who will accompany the pupils to the Symphonic Wind Band Festival. (Ian Carbutt/supplied)

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Eight Pietermaritzburg pupils jet off to New York today with the Kwa­Zulu-Natal Youth Wind Band, to compete in the Symphonic Wind Band Festival at the world-famous Carnegie Hall.

St Anne’s Diocesan College’s Rachael van Rensburg, Emma de Wet from St John’s DSG, and six Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School pupils — Akahlulwa Dlamini, Amu Nkasa, Nolwazi Nkwanyana, Sara McInerney, Zibusiso Ndlovu and Brandy Zulu — will attend the prestigious festival in the Big Apple until March 16.

The girls are members of the KZN Youth Wind Band — a provincial symphonic wind orchestra made up of 45 music students aged between 13 and 27.

Rachael, a band member since 2015 who plays the clarinet, said she was “really excited about going on my first international tour with the KZN Youth Wind Band”.

“It’s an honour to play at Carnegie Hall, which is a prestigious hall for a musician to play at, with so many famous composers having performed there. I’m also a bit nervous because this is a competition.”

As part of the festival, 36 bands from around the world applied to perform and only six were selected.

The KZN Youth Wind Band, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, is the only African band selected to play at the festival and will become the first South African ensemble to give a world premiere of an American composer’s work at Carnegie Hall.

“The newly-commissioned work has been written specifically for the band by composer Andrew Smith,” said Jenna McKenzie, marketing co-ordinator at St Anne’s.

“We will also perform two pieces of the conductor’s choice,” added Rachael.

Representing St John’s DSG are matric pupil Emma and Joshua Boudan, one of the school’s music teachers.

Boudan said it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“I’m very proud of Emma and I think it will be a fantastic experience for both of us, performing in one of the world’s most iconic venues, steeped in musical history.”

St John’s principal Simon Moore said they were delighted and “very proud that the band was selected from many applicants around the world to premiere newly-commissioned work. It is wonderful that Emma and Joshua can be a part of this first for an African band”.

From Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School are Akahlulwa (tuba), Amu (clarinet), Nolwazi (flute), Sara (baritone saxophone), Zibusiso (trombone) and Brandy (clarinet).

The girls said they felt honoured to be playing at Carnegie Hall.

Brandy said it is “amazing that I have this opportunity at such a young age”.

Toni Bower, GHS marketing manager, said the school was extremely proud of the girls.

“This achievement is most certainly a representation of the calibre of the school’s learners and music department,” she said.

• arts@witness.co.za
Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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