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Saturday, February 18, 2017


A firecracker of a concert. (Review by Keith Millar)

The KwaZulu-Natal Youth Orchestra called their joint concert with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra at Durban High School on Friday evening a Classical Blast!

Which is exactly what it was. An absolute blast.

The fireworks started with a jubilant performance by the astonishingly talented young people of the KZN Youth Orchestra. They provided a mixed bag of musical treats with everything from a little bit of light classic to some jazz and Latin and with some rock thrown in for good measure. It was a sparkling performance.

The youthful musicians of this orchestra range in ages from 12 and 20 (the current average age is 15) and they come from all over KZN. They rehearse just once a week, on Friday afternoons, at DHS Music Centre.

Taking this into account, one has got say that the quality of their playing is quite admirable. They are a credit to their team of excellent tutors under the leadership of Lykele Temmingh. The public of KZN can be justifiably proud of this musical treasure.

Next to join the festivities was the splendid KZNPO. Dressed in their casual cloths (denim jeans abounded) they were obviously in the mood for fun as they performed a selection of well-loved party pieces, such as The March of the Toreadors from Bizet’s Carmen, The Waltz from Masquerade by Khachaturian, and Rossini’s William Tell Overture.

The orchestra was then joined by popular and experienced jazz singer, Natalie Rungan, who is the director of the DHS Music Centre. She sang three popular songs. - I’ve Got You Under Skin, One Moment in Time, and New York New York. Unfortunately, a sub-standard sound system did not do Natalie justice and we did not hear at her best.

The cherry on top for the evening was the joining of the two orchestras, the first time they have played together in a decade. This resulted in over 100 musicians on stage in rousing performance of music from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and the dramatic Stars Wars Theme. Excellent entertainment.

Conducting duties for the evening were shared by Lykele Temmingh, who is the resident conductor of the KZNPO and the force behind the KZN Youth Orchestra, and visiting conductor from Trinidad, Kwamé Ryan.

This may not have been a concert for the connoisseurs but as a community project to take good music to the people it more than served its purpose. It was a firecracker of a concert. – Keith Millar