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Tuesday, August 4, 2015


(Richard Cock)

One of Durban’s prime cultural attractions, the annual Corobrik Orchestra concert presented by the British Cultural and Heritage Association (BCHA), will be held on August 9.

The BCHA has lined up an enticing programme of musical items to be performed by a massed ad-hoc orchestra under the baton of maestro Richard Cock, always a major role-player on the South African national music scene. The annual event includes the participation of the Steel Drum Band and its affiliate group of Marimba Players.

Participants and audience members will be pleased to hear that the venue chosen for Corobrik Orchestra 2015 is in a more central locale than it has been in recent years. It will take place in the Nkulisa Conference Centre, in the grounds of Penzance Primary School.

Participants must be able to read and play music. They are required to pay an entry fee of R60, and to register to play either as individuals of as part of a group. Each musician will be issued with a complimentary ticket for a family member or friend to attend the event. Participants are encouraged to be as conversant as possible with the prescribed music, so that the concert will be a fulfilling experience if all players perform at their best, thus achieving a successful team effort.

Says conductor Cock, the mastermind behind the project: “This annual event offers aspirant musicians the unique experience of simply jumping in the deep end and playing in an orchestra. Without professional experience, but with a modicum of preparedness, it is astonishing how readily the process comes together with one intensive rehearsal session. People with a variety of skills are carried along by the overall impetus, and by the prevailing spirit of shared endeavour. The stronger players pull the weaker ones along with them. Everyone has to play along, and our audience is invariably amazed at what can be achieved under duress. I always try to create an environment which enables people to savour the joy of making and listening to music with each other. This is a perfect example.”

Dirk Meyer, Managing Director of Corobrik says: “The all-embracing sound of orchestral music has the power to exercise a positive effect over audiences, by creating in a spirit of upliftment and of shared emotional experience. This effect is often tinged with happy memories, and it invariably creates a positive energy and a rich sense of communal enjoyment. For this reason Corobrik is delighted once again to support Orchestra 2015. We wish all the practicing and amateur musicians involved in the project, as well as the lovers of music who form our audience, an exhilarating and memorable time spent in each other’s company.”

To register to play in Corobrik Orchestra 2015, call 031 202 6174 or e-mail

The event on August 9 will kick off at 14h30, following a massed orchestra rehearsal held between 11h00 and 14h00. As a curtain-raiser to the main concert, the Marimba Players will perform between 14h30 and 14h50, followed by a 20-minute performance by the Steel Drum Foundation from 15h00 which will include the traditional song, Masithi Amen.

The main concert runs from 15h30 to 16h30, opening with the South African National Anthem. Items to be heard on the generously packed line-up of concert evergreens include: the Theme from Star Wars by John Williams; the Richard Rodgers’s musical standard, Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific; Glow Idyll by Paul Lincke; King Cotton by Suza, Brahms’s Hungarian Rhapsody No 5; and the much-loved Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss Jnr.

This will be followed by performances of three popular items such as Bare Necessities, Shosholoza, You’ll Never Walk Alone, a Sinatra medley titled Salute to Ole Blue Eyes, and the show-stopping Can-Can from Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld.

Seating is unreserved and tickets at R50 will be sold at the door. The British Cultural and Heritage Association offers sponsored tickets to the John Palmer Residence for the Blind and the KZN Cerebral Palsy Association, as well as a number of children’s homes, who greatly appreciate being part of this fun-filled afternoon.

The Nkulisa Conference Centre is situated in the grounds of Penzance Primary School, at 61 Penzance Road in Glenwood. Secure parking is available.