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Wednesday, May 30, 2018


(SOJ Chorale Conductor Sibusiso Mkhulisi)

The Pietermaritzburg Amateur Music Society (PAMS) choir is adding its voice to the trend of choir building on June 3, 2018, in the Spirit of Africa: Iyasha Ingoma Concert in the Winston Churchill Auditorium in Pietermaritzburg.

The Spirit of Africa Concert - Iyasha Ingoma (loosely translated as “New Song), promises to be a beautiful, unique cross-over aural experience. Eight teenagers from the Willowfountain Intermediate School (Edendale) will be joining the predominantly English-speaking and somewhat older, experienced PAMS choristers in singing acclaimed composer Qinisela Sibisi’s Missa Brevis in Zulu.  Mozart’s Coronation Mass, sung by the Sounds of Joy Chorale (SOJ) under the baton of Sibusiso Mkhulisi, will follow.

“We are singing in Zulu – they are singing in Latin,” said an excited Nigel Fish, who has been the PAMS Choir’s conductor for the past two years. Fish has known fellow conductor Mkhulisi for over 40 years when he was a pianist and the latter a chorister in the well-known Pietermaritzburg Choral Society under Dr Joshua Radebe. “The idea to collaborate in a combined choral concert followed naturally. United by our love of choral music it is wonderful to have the relative youth of his choir alongside my choristers.”

The combined choirs will conclude the concert with Five Spirituals by Sir Michael Tippett. “The distinctive tone-quality gives a very special depth and passion to the Tippett spirituals,” Fish said. The soloists are Thembi Sithole and Mtuseni Madlala, who will be accompanied by Jacques Heyns.

PAMS chair, Jonathan Draper, believes that this co-operative venture between choirs provides a unique opportunity to step outside comfort zones and learn from each other, coming as they do from such different musical traditions. “Our South African heritage provides us not only with troubled memories but with wonderful opportunities for cultural cross-over and creativity.”

SOJ conductor Sibusiso Mkhulisi said one of the main objectives of the choir is to enrich and equip young and old people through music. Nation building through music is high on his agenda. The SOJ was established 15 years ago and chosen among 30 choirs to represent KZN in the 2017 Old Mutual National Choir Festival. It also obtained the first position in the folklore (Istibili) category in the Melting Pot Competition last year. While the choir is based in uMlazi, South of Durban, the membership has grown to such an extent that it has another branch in Pietermaritzburg. 

The concert takes place on June 3, 2018, at 14h30 in the Winston Churchill Auditorium, Leinster Road, Pietermaritzburg. Tickets R100 pp (R60 pp group bookings of six and more people; R50 students). Phone Irene for tickets on 082 200 3928 or email: or book online at