A group of US choirs are bringing more than music for Mandela Day celebrations to our country.
For ten years, US-based cultural organization Classical Movements, has held the annual Ihlombe! Festival in South Africa. This year, the series of concerts and gathering of five choirs of 250 voices from the USA and 23 choirs with 1 200 voices from Southern Africa, will honour Nelson Mandela’s centenary, and will feature new works by celebrated South African composers who have woven the poignant words of the great leader into the songs that will be performed.
The concerts will take place across the country throughout this month.
Says Classical Movements President, Neeta Helms, “For 25 years, Classical Movements has been bringing the world’s great orchestras and choirs to over 145 countries. We currently produce around 60 tours every year – that’s some 200 concerts every season. South Africa has long been one of our favourite destinations and because our intent is to bring cultural exchange and harmony through the music and through the meeting of musicians and exchange of music, we find this a moving and rewarding trip every time.”
The Ihlombe! Festival’s Voices of Hope, Freedom and Unity tour unites choirs from Baltimore, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington and Atlanta with local choirs from Eersterivier, Khayelitsha and Bonteheuwel in Cape Town, Soweto, Soshanguve and Diepkloof in Gauteng, among others. Two choirs from Zimbabwe will also join the tour as they move through the Western, Southern and Eastern Cape as well as Gauteng Provinces and perform in concerts in Soweto, Johannesburg, Soshanguve, Cape Town (Bonteheuwel, Kenmere, Kayalitsha) and Port Elizabeth.
The choirs will perform on Tuesday 17 July at 24 David Profit Street, Bonteheuwel, at St George’s Cathedral on 18 July, and at Desmond Mpilo Tutu Secondary School in Paarl on Thursday 19 July.