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Saturday, December 7, 2013


As usual, an impressive display of young talent. (Review by Michael Green)

Every year the Friends of Music, in collaboration with the South African Society of Music Teachers, present a Rising Stars concert. This year’s version, at the Durban Jewish Centre was, as usual, an impressive display of young talent.

There were six soloists and a small choir, a total of 15 performers, all school pupils aged from 14 to 18 and but two of them girls. There were two pianists and two recorder-players¸ the rest were singers, no violinists or cellists. Nearly all those involved had appeared previously before the public at various levels and, as was to be expected, they showed skills and poise beyond their years.

Obviously, one cannot apply exacting critical standards when reviewing a concert of this nature. Suffice it to say that the standard of performance was uniformly high, and I was impressed by the technical skills and stage presence of these young artists.

The performers were:
-       The Hillcrest High School Choir, nine girls singing with verve and enthusiasm under the direction of Judith Hawthorn.
-       Amy Diack (18) from St. Benedict’s, recorder,
-       Elisabeth Manduell (17) from Durban Girls’ College, soprano.
-       Ewan Slabber (16) from Glenwood High School, piano.
-       Matthew Coetzee (18) from Kloof High School, recorder.
-       Phumla Dlomo (18) from Northlands Girls’ High School, singer.
-       Margie Fan (17) from Crawford North Coast, piano.

The music performed ranged from Edith Piaf’s Milord, sung in true Gallic style by Elisabeth Manduell, to Mendelssohn’s Rondo Capriccioso, played in true virtuoso manner by Ewan Slabber.

Bobby Mills provided piano accompaniments for several of the soloists, playing with accuracy and sympathy.

All this was much enjoyed by an audience rather different from the usual Friends of Music crowd. Family and friends, I imagine. - Michael Green