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Thursday, September 1, 2016


A truly impressive evening of song. (Review by Dawn Haynes)

A programme of singing presented by choirs from various Catholic schools in Durban.
On August 25, six choirs from various Catholic Schools in Durban performed in the Emmanuel Cathedral in the presence of Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, Archbishop Peter Wells ( the Papal Nuncio from the Vatican) and Bishop Barry Wood.

The theme of the evening was Laudato si’, mi’ Signore – “Praise be to you, my Lord”.

Each school presented two to three items and the variety of choice resulted in an interesting and inspiring programme. St Benedict school opened the evening with the beautiful You Raise me Up and their enthusiasm and energy set the tone for the evening. Followed by St Francis College from Mariannhill with a very large choir of beautifully-blended voices, the audience was visibly moved. St Henry’s choir followed and they included a solo guitarist whose contribution to Shackles made this item really special. Unfortunately, the Kwa Thinkwa School for the Deaf choir was unable to attend due to the unrest in Inanda. 

Holy Family College picked up the tempo and were followed by Our Lady of Fatima choir, entering from the back of the church led by the powerful voice of their soloist.  Their rendition of Bridge over Troubled Water was a highlight of the evening. With excellent arrangement by Madelein O’Toole, this group displayed great sensitivity and control as their voices blended perfectly to present this moving song.

The last school to perform was Maris Stella High whose timing and emotion was perfect!

The evening ended with a resounding group rendition of Weeping. Over 150 voices filled the Cathedral and left the audience stunned!

In his closing address, the Cardinal expressed his gratitude and enthusiasm for the young people who had performed at such a high standard. He acknowledged the contribution made by the conductors and accompanists and reminded us all about the power of music and song to praise God and also to unite all people in a common voice.

Raymond Perrier from the Denis Hurley Centre spoke briefly and highlighted the main projects and services being offered at the centre and acknowledged the valuable input from volunteers from the schools. The audience was invited to give a donation to the centre.

This was a truly impressive evening of song. The choirs performed with energy and skill and their music teachers must be commended for the amount of rehearsal that was obviously needed to reach this high standard of performance. The response from the audience was evidence of the power of music to move and inspire all people. This was an enjoyable and memorable occasion.  Dawn Haynes