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South African Choir holds solo concert in ongoing Chorus Festival

07-20-2012 08:39 BJT

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The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Choir is representing Africa in the ongoing China International Chorus Festival. The South African choir held a solo concert in China Conservatory of Music on Wednesday night, but it was an event that was about more than just music.

The performance also allowed the Chinese audience to share in the celebration of the 94th birthday of Nelson Mandela, the country’s iconic independence leader and the choir’s namesake.

In its 18-year history, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Choir has gained a reputation for its multi-cultural membership, and its unique ability to successfully interpret both Occidental and African repertoires. They are always in demand when it comes to international choral festivals.

Junita Van Dijk, conductor of NMMU Choir, said, "Most of them are college students and some of them are already alumni. We’ve been in existence since 1994 when South Africa had freedom. We exist as a multi-cultural choir."

The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Choir is representing
Africa in the ongoing China International Chorus Festival.

The set list of the night included a diverse song selection, ranging from inspiring gospel chants and adaptations of Bach’s preludes, to modern classics by Paul Simon, The Beatles and Queen. Their well-polished vocal techniques and groovy choreography are infused with their secret weapons: a genuine sense of African identity and an infectious positivity.

The most jaw-dropping moments came when the choir presented original South African melodies, and tribal dances. For music aficionados, it’s an inspiring piece of the world’s music heritage; but for the choir members, it’s about their culture and their roots.

The choir ended the concert with a medley of South African traditional music, paying tribute to their home country’s former president and freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela, who turned 94 on Wednesday.

Like the festival’s other headlining acts, the choir’s China tour includes a public workshop for people interested in chorus singing. The chance to learn from some of the world’s best is an essential highlight of this year’s China International Chorus Festival.

The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Choir is representing Africa in the ongoing
China International Chorus Festival.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: CNTV.CN

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