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Two ISASA schools sing overseas

| September 5, 2012 | 0 Comments

The Kearsney College choir has added the colour gold to South Africa’s rainbow.

Dubbed “a great showpiece of the Rainbow Nation” by American media, the choir won two gold medals at the recent 7th World Choir Games held in Ohio.

From standing ovations at the games to a stirring performance at the United Nations, to an interview with Good Morning America in Times Square, and spontaneous gumboot dancing in the streets of Cincinnati, the 64-member choir naturally portrayed the aspirations of the new South Africa.

With its signature blend of classical, pop and indigenous music, Kearsney has now won nine gold and six silver medals at the seven World Choir Games, held biannually since 2000. The World Choir Games is the Olympics for choirs and attracted 15 000 participants and 352 choirs from 61 nations this year.

Significantly, Kearsney is not a specialist choir school, but rather encourages learners to develop their musical talents alongside those on the sports fields. The boys’ energy and vigour, matched with top-notch musical performance, highlights all that can be achieved if differences are put aside and a common goal is sought, says headmaster Elwyn van den Aardweg.

“From their performance in the UN General Assembly, to the Merkin Hall in Manhattan’s Kaufmann Centre, to an event hosted by South African ambassador Ebrahim Rasool; people commented that they had not seen a more effective vehicle portraying the aspirations of the new South Africa, than this choir.

“The pride in African culture, the passion in which it is presented and the obvious teamwork are inspiring. Their unity and harmony show in and out of performance,” he says.

For 10 days in May 2012, 56 Dominican Convent School choir and marimba band members shared the music and rhythms of Africa with the people of the United Kingdom in nine magical performances. They performed at South Africa House on Trafalgar Square, in Salisbury Cathedral and Sherborne Abbey, and at host schools Stowe School in Buckinghamshire and Sherborne Girls’ School in Dorset.

Kgomotjo Ramokgopa, a Grade 11 learner, remembers that “performances always ended with the audience on its feet, moving to the music and rhythms of Africa”. At both host schools, Dominican Convent students spent time with UK ‘buddies’, sharing in their daily routine and getting to know them in a way that mere sightseeing would never have allowed. “If this is the quality of youngster that South Africa is producing, I have great hope for the future of the country,” said Cedric Rubenstein, a guest at the London concert.

Category: Spring 2012

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