Choristers part of celebration of Madiba

2018-06-14 06:01

Khayelitsha choristers are among local singers who will partner with their international counterparts in the Ihlombe! South African Choral Festivalto honour former President Nelson Mandela next month.

From Sunday 1 to Sunday 20 July, the 10th anniversary edition of Ihlombe! will honour the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning icon.

Titled “Mandela at 100: Voices of Hope, Freedom and Unity”, the celebrations will feature Khayelitsha choirs Mzomhle Youth Choir with Lwando Thyuthu and Nazaret Youth Choir, as well as iGugu le Kapa Chamber with Phumelele Tsewu and Amy Biehl choirs, both from Gugulethu.

“In the spirit of Madiba’s prized ideals of ‘hope, freedom and unity’, select youth and collegiate choirs hailing from five major American cities – Atlanta, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington – will perform 13 collaborative concerts with more than 15 African youth, church and community ensembles, exchanging cultures through shared workshops, side-by-side rehearsals and outreach projects across the Rainbow Nation,” the organisers say in a statement.

All in all, the event will see twelve concerts, two world premieres, and over 20 ensembles take to different stages.

On Wednesday 18 July (Mandela’s birthday) at 18:00 at the historic St. George’s Cathedral, the celebration will feature individual performances from all participating ensembles, as well as two world premieres commissioned by Classical Movements’ own Eric Daniel Helms New Music Programme for the entire 2018 Ihlombe! mass choir, conducted by world-renowned Sidumo Nyamazele, Africa specialist at the University of Johannesburg Choir.

Decorated University of KwaZulu-Natal professor Phelelani Mnomiya has composed a powerful setting of Madiba’s famous, “It’s In Your Hands Now” speech – delivered on his 90th birthday during the 46664 Aids charity concert at London’s Hyde Park.

Penning his own text for the second Ihlombe! mass choir commission, award-winning University of the Western Cape professor Sibusiso Njeza’s Uthando Nomculo (“Love and Music”) piece urges us all, in his words, “to love more, to see beyond the colour of one’s skin, religion and sexuality­”.

“Established in 2009, with a special focus on collaboration and service, Classical Movements’ extraordinary Ihlombe! South African Choral Festival features a true diversity of international choirs performing for effusive audiences in every venue imaginable,” says the statement.

Over the past decade, Ihlombe! has featured nearly 90 choirs from some 10 countries throughout the entirety of South Africa­.

“From the opening celebration to the collaborative finale concert, the Ihlombe! festival, is a force unlike any other with choirs and music from all over the world!”

The Khayelitsha event will take place on Tuesday 17 July at 18:30 in the Bongweni Church Hall, Old Apostolic Church.

Entry is free.

For more information, contact Bongani Magatyana on 072 392 4120 or bongani.­

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