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THABI FOR FRIENDS (article first published : 2002-02-14)

Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Friends of Music are able to offer talented classical performers a 10 minute platform prior to the international and acclaimed guests on their regular recital programme.Named the Prelude Performers Project, it not only offers young people a chance to showcase their talents before the highly critical music lovers of FOM but an invaluable and high profile addition to their growing CV’s.

The first recital of 2002 takes place on February 19 with a performance by pianist Sergei Babayan who will play works by Bach and Rachmaninov. Considered one of the most charismatic personalities on today’s concert stage, his vibrantly expressive performances have inspired audience acclaim worldwide.

The first Prelude Performer for the year will be Thabi Ngema (14), a pupil at St Mary's DSG in Kloof. She is a young soprano with much potential and her performance will include “Ombra mai fu” from "Serse" by G F Handel and two songs from George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess", “It ain't necessarily so” and “Summertime”. Her accompanists will be her teacher Ronel Laidlaw as well as Priscilla Crundwell.

“Thabi is incredibly self-disciplined,” says Ronel Laidlaw. “She has to be – she sings in three choirs at St Mary’s as well as in the KZN Youth Choir. She takes singing as a subject, has a classical voice and is crazy about opera. She performed at the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra’s carol service last year.”

Thabi also performed as a soloist with St Mary’s DSG Choir when they appeared at Llangollen in Wales. She also plays the drums in the school orchestra and performs in its African Music Ensemble.

It is no wonder that singing comes naturally to her. Her grandfather was Professor S D Ncqongwane of the University of Zululand who wrote many songs in the NGK Zulu version of “Hosana” and her mother is the leader of the music group of Durban’s Uniting Reform Church. Her father is Lindelani Ngema, Promotions and Marketing Manager of Ukhozi FM.

The concert will take place at the Durban Jewish Club which has safe parking. A cash bar is available. Tickets R40 (R35 FOM members). Book at Computicket. Annual subscription fee of R25 offers a reduction in ticket prices. Post to Friends of Music, PO Box 51063, Musgrave, 4062.




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