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Sunday, December 7, 2008


Much to give pleasure in a programme ranging from Handel and Bach to the Andrews Sisters. (Review by Michael Green

A large audience composed mainly of family and friends attended this final concert of the year of the Friends of Music.

The annual KZN Rising Stars presentation has become a Christmas tradition. This one featured 20 young performers, aged 15 to 18, in a varied programme for singers and for instrumentalists playing the piano, flute, recorder and saxophone.

All the players and singers are still at school --- learners, to use the current jargon --- and it would be unfair and unkind to subject their efforts to a keen critical scrutiny. Suffice it to say that there was plenty of talent on display. The choice of items for performance was in some cases too ambitious, involving works that were well beyond the technical and interpretative capabilities of these youngsters.

But there was much to give pleasure in a programme ranging from Handel and Bach (the later played on a saxophone!) to the Andrews Sisters (haven’t heard from them for a long time), and it was all much to the taste of the audience.

The printed programme included a list of 43 previous “rising stars”, and a glance through it suggested that very few have risen to anything like stardom. No matter, the important thing is to propagate among the young the love and practice of good music, and this what the South African Society of Music Teachers, co-sponsors of this concert, are obviously doing. More power to their collective elbow. - Michael Green