Wits Choir’s Africa Month Celebration Concert
|When:||Thursday, 04 May 2017 - Thursday, 04 May 2017|
|Where:|| Braamfontein Campus East
Wits Main Theatre
Lerato.Sekele@wits.ac.za / 011 717 1372
The Wits Choir in association with Wits Theatre presents the Wits Choir’s Africa Month Celebration Concert that will be a feast of songs from our continent.
The concert will include songs from Tanzania, Ghana, Mali, Kenya, Namibia and other African countries and unsurprisingly, many from South Africa. This concert will give audiences a preview of what the Choir will be presenting on their tour to France and Germany later this year.
Wits Choir will premiere a number of songs at their African Month Celebration Concert. One such work is a composition that was commissioned for Wits Choir by Samro Endowment for the National Arts . Composed by Mokale Koapeng, a well-known composer, the song is called Thloko ya me, Thloko ya gagwe. Another song arranged by South African composer Eduard Bosman which will be premiered is God is hier teenwoordig. Other songs include some Wits Choir ‘oldies' like Malaika and Ntyilo, Ntyilo, Je Wajua Yesu anipenda and S'khandamayeza!
The Young Wits Choir will also make their appearance to sing several combined items with Wits Choir. This younger sibling of the 55 year-old Wits Choir was established in 2013 and is a wonderful addition to the Wits Choir family.
The Choirs, whose diverse membership is drawn from a multitude of cultures, nationalities, occupations and ages, understands the value of hard work and discipline. The Choir is indisputably dedicated to the advancement of a spirit of reconciliation and transformation in South Africa. Through the example they set, choir members serve as ambassadors of Wits University and South Africa both at home and when abroad.
A SHORT HISTORY OF WITS CHOIR
Wits Choir is now in its 55th year of existence. It was originally called The Witwatersrand University Choir and was founded by students from two diverse student bodies.
The first was The University Choral Society and they decided to use the profits from their 1961 production of Oklahoma to buy choral music and start a choir.
On the other hand, at the same time, a group of students on the Students' Engineering Council also decided to form a choir. Towards the end of that year the two groups combined and the Wits Choir was formed.
Wits Choir is vibrant, young, and colourful. Membership is open to all, resulting in a fully representative choir drawn from diverse national and international cultures.
The Wits Choir motto is ‘Excellence through diversity' and this manifests itself in everything the Choir does, be it repertoire, membership of the choir, performances.
An example of this diversity is the fact that Wits Choir has sung for over 20 Heads of State both in Africa and abroad, and also at the opening of a sewage plant in Mpumalanga.
During the last 21 years of the newly-constituted Wits Choir there have been many highlights:
- The Choir had the honour to sing at three occasions for Nelson Mandela. They also had the honour of singing at his Memorial Service at Wits University. The message of Ubuntu that he lived by, is one that Wits Choir strives to emulate.
- The extensive outreach programme for the advancement of choral music and conducting through mini-tours to amongst others the Cape Platteland, Mpumalanga, and Northern KwaZulu-Natal has afforded the Wits Choir the opportunity to work with local choirs and conductors furthering music education and forming meaningful partnerships. The Choir also regularly holds choir festivals and workshops involving singers and conductors from church, school and community choirs.
- The Wits Choir has often had the privilege to perform on television, with the last one being on Morning Live on SABC 2 to celebrate Freedom Day which is commemorated on April 27th.
- The Wits Choir has spread the magic of South African music and culture through tours to Namibia (1998 and 2015), Kenya (2001), Argentina (2003), the Czech Republic (2006), the Seychelles (2009) and in 2011 to the USA and Canada. They performed on the Fringe of the 2008 and 2010 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.
- A new Wits Choir – the Young Wits Choir was established in 2013 and it is an extension of Wits Choir with its focus being on music education and skills training, and its motto Yearning, Willing and Committed makes it a worthy younger sibling!
The Wits Choirs bring the music of South Africa and of our continent to audiences everywhere. The Choirs aim to show the beauty, intricacies, diversity and complexity of the music in the world.
Ticket prices: Online: R70 adults (R40 Wits staff and Wits students, children, pensioners); Door: R75 adults (R45 Wits staff and Wits students, children, pensioners)
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