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Friday, September 12, 2014


The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, in collaboration with the Durban University of Technology’s Department of Student Governance and Development, presents an exceptional festival this weekend to showcase KZN’s tertiary institution choirs.

Seven choirs will participate on September 14, each presenting two works, all accompanied by the KZN Philharmonic. The programme consists of traditional Zulu works (Qinisela Sibisi) as well as operatic excerpts (Handel, Haydn, Donizetti).

The four KZN choirs are from Durban University of Technology Choir (Durban campuses), Durban University of Technology Choir (PMB campuses), University of KZN Choir and the University of Zululand Choir. The special guest choir for the event is the University of Limpopo-MEDUNSA Choir from Pretoria, as well as two KZN school choirs, namely Ekwazini High School and the Birdswood Secondary School Choir from Richards Bay

This annual festival was established in 2012 to provide a one-stop hub of knowledge for tertiary choirs in the province. Bongani Tembe, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the KZN Philharmonic said that this year, being the celebration of 20 years of democracy, the focus is on how choral music has enhanced the development of tertiary choirs, creating a life-enhancing experience for all the youthful participants.

This year’s Festival will reach new milestones by introducing a Conductors’ Development programme with master classes in which the participating conductors will work with the resident conductors of the KZN Philharmonic. A partnership with the KZN Health department will bring a healthy lifestyle approach to the participating choirs with talks and workshops on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and even includes gymnastics on Saturday before the concert. For the first time, in a partnership between Olwandle Chartered Accountants & Business Consultants and the Clermont Choir Foundation, participants will also be offered workshops on running a small business and its appropriate governance. Choir managers will have an opportunity for training on issues of finances and choir management.

The Festival concludes with a gala dinner after the concert with guest speakers, the KZN MEC for Arts & Culture together with the MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, addressing youth issues in South Africa and the beneficial role of choral music.

The KZN Choir Festival concert takes place on September 14 at 15h00 at Fred Crookes Sports Centre at DUT’s Steve Biko campus. Admission is free.