Hilton College boys off to China

2013-06-27 00:00

FIFTY talented young musicians from Hilton College will be heading to China next month to take part in the World Youth Tutti Music Festival, which runs from July 5 to 13 in Beijing.

En route, they will be stopping in Dubai to perform a programme of African music at the DUCTAC theatre in the Mall of Emirates on July 4.

“Sixteen pupils are from Dubai, so it will be nice for the parents who live there to be able to attend the concert,” Paul Guthrie, the school’s director of marketing, said. “And, having seen the programme, I think the whole African theme will appeal to the Chinese market and to the other participants who are coming to the festival from around the world.”

Brett Udal, head of the music department, said the boys would be making use of traditional African instruments, including djembe drums, Xhosa Uhadi bows, iguba drums and thumb pianos or kalimbas during their concerts.

He added: “In African Rainstorm, the pupils will make use of traditional sub-Saharan African instruments. They will also perform Weeping, written by Bright Blue, and rearranged especially for the Hilton boys by Jeff Judge. There is also a special arrangement of Mango Groove’s Special Star and the strings will be doing township kwela in the style of the Soweto String Quartet.

“The idea was not to go with a Eurocentric programme, but with an African programme that would inspire those who hear it.”

The festival is expected to attract some 350 participants from around the world, mostly from Australia, New Zealand, China and South Africa. Each day, the participants will be rehearsing in various ensembles, workshops and master classes, with separate, smaller performances during the day.

The boys will also have the chance to perform their programme, titled An African Kaleidoscope, during the tour. The programme includes Shoshaloza, Miriam Makeba’s Click Song, Freshlyground’s Doo Be Doo and songs by Koos Kombuis.

“At the grand final concert, we will be putting on two mass items — Weeping and Special Star. There is also a plan for the boys to do an African praise chant on stage,” Udal said.

Guthrie said the pupils would also have sight-seeing opportunities during their tour. There are plans to visit the Dubai Fountains, Burj Khalifa, and a desert safari trip in Dubai.

While in China, they will visit Tian An Men Square, the Forbidden City and they will do a mass choir performance on the Great Wall of China.

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