Knock on Wood festival – a celebration of music, art

2018-07-25 06:00
The Creed members, Marvin Draai, Alfred Felkers, Virgil Matrass and Andrew Kock each bring a unique nuance to their imitable harmonies.                                      Photo:SUPPLIED

The Creed members, Marvin Draai, Alfred Felkers, Virgil Matrass and Andrew Kock each bring a unique nuance to their imitable harmonies. Photo:SUPPLIED

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EASTERN Cape lovers of the arts are in for a treat, when the Woodridge schools will, yet again, be opening their doors for the Knock on Wood Arts Fest from Monday, July 30 to Friday, August 3.

This exciting festival combines the traditional eisteddfod concept with a more general celebration of the arts. The event is also of special significance, as it will be taking place on the brand new Woodridge campus, which had been rebuilt and, to large extent, redesigned, in a record time, following last year’s devastating fires.

No fewer than 35 Eastern Cape schools are participating in the eisteddfod, and during the day the main focus will be on the adjudication of these young artists.

A staggering 17 choirs and seven large ensembles have entered for the festival, which promises youthful music making on a grand scale.

On Sunday, July 29, the choir category will be preceded by a workshop in choral conducting by co-choir adjudicator Junita van Dijk at 14:00.

Informal, free of charge, lunch hour concerts, in celebration of the ensemble talents of Eastern Cape schools, will provide a break from the adjudication process and the school groups participating in these lunch hour concerts include the St Dominic’s Priory’s marimba group, Victoria Park, Theodor Herzl and Lawson Brown steel bands and a variety of contemporary Woodridge instrumental and vocal ensembles.

Knock on Wood gives a nod to Woodstock with a rock concert on Wednesday, August 1, at 19:00. The line-up includes the popular Cotton Fields and a sizzling combo including James Smith, Rob Thompson, Timon Oosthuizen and Dave Houghton.

The evening programme concludes on a high note on Thursday night, August 2, at 18:30, when the much loved vocal group The Creed will be treating the audience to their sweet harmonies.

Supporting artists at this concert include Paul Richard, Evan Perkins and Houghton.

The multi-instrumentalist, Houghton straddles a variety of musical genres. He has performed with the Grammy award-winning flautist, Wouter Kellerman, and with the SAMA winning saxophonist, Phumlani Mtiti, but considers the opportunity to share the stage with the international jazz legends Rufus Reid and Yusuf Lateef as the highlight of his musical career.

Port Elizabeth classical music lovers will remember Perkins’s highly successful performance with the Nelson Mandela University symphony orchestra a few months ago.

Richard also deserves special mention. This exceptional saxophonist, to whom the South African composer Hannes Taljaard has dedicated a number of works, was the winner of both the Epinal Music Competition in France and the seventh National Music Competition in Grahamstown.

The cost of the choir workshop by Van Dijk is R80.

Entry fees for the Wednesday and Thursday evening concerts are R30 for adults and R20 for children.

Refreshments and light suppers will be available.

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