SoundXchange Choral Festival 2: Drakensberg Boys Choir and the Fizeka High School Choir
Host Shauna Powers continues her presentation of young voices raised in hopeful song, from her Sing Africa! project, this week with 2 South African choirs, the world famous Drakensberg Boys Choir and the Fezeka High School Choir. Perfect Easter listening.
The Saskatoon Children's Choir embarked on a trip of a lifetime in July 2011. The 42 girls in the choir journeyed to South Africa for a concert and humanitarian tour. Along the way, they saw the reality of life in the Soweto township, met witnesses of the country's apartheid regime, and interacted with children who have been orphaned as a result of the country's HIV/AIDS pandemic. They also enjoyed an African safari, visited a penguin colony near Cape Town, and performed with a number of other choirs, including today's featured choirs, the Fireka High School Choir and the Drakensberg Boys Choir. CBC's Sing Africa! team captured not only the Canadian kids, but performances by South African choirs.
The Drakensberg Boys' Choir School is one of the few South African schools whose fame extends around the world. This school offers a unique educational opportunity for children; it stimulates a boy's spirit of adventure and exploration in the physical surroundings of the school while nurturing the development of the mind and expression in innate musical talent.
The Choir School, set on a 100 acre estate, draws its inspiration from the idyllic environment of the Champagne Valley, Central Drakensberg World Heritage Site, which is filled, daily, with the sound of young boys singing, surely one of the purest expressions of musical delights in the world. The school boasts a 500 seater auditorium which is filled to near capacity during the weekly Wednesday concerts and music festivals throughout the year.
The specialized musical environment at the school makes it possible for boys not only to develop their vocal skills, but to undergo in depth study of the core components of Music on both a theoretical and practical level. An intensive aural training course commences on day one at this institution and instrumental tuition is emphasized to develop further practical and aural skills. Through this system, DBCS has contributed to the South African and international music scene by nurturing the talents of now prominent conductors and singers.
The Choir is representative of the multi-faceted cultures that make up South Africa. It has created a new trend in the international choral scene that transcends the conventional. A unique style of diversity - Classical, Rock, Pop, Jazz, African, Folk etcetera - whatever the style, the boys perform it with excellence and aplomb.
The Drakensberg Boys' Choir captivates audiences with its unique and diverse style of music, which demonstrates the versatility and depth of the Choir's ability. This can be especially seen and heard with the recent addition of more modern art music. The Choir is internationally acclaimed for its unique African repertoire, containing various traditional works like 'Shosholoza', and 'Night Sounds' where the boys imitate the sounds of the African Bush. They also perform a 'Gumboot Dance', which originated on the South African mines. Using authentic African instruments and body percussion as accompaniment, the boys perform traditional African works as have never been experienced before!
The Choir also excels in music such as Handel's "Messiah", Mozart's "Requiem", Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms", Bach's "Magnificat", and many more works of this stature.
Categories: Past Episodes
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