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FRIENDS OF MUSIC: KEARSNEY COLLEGE CHOIR (article first published : 2005-07-27)

In an extended programme covering a wide range of material, the highly praised Kearsney College Choir, plus vocal soloists and instrumentalists, gave much pleasure to a Durban Jewish Centre audience consisting largely of school parents and friends.

This was a pop concert, something quite different from the normal fare offered to members of the Friends of Music. The Pie Jesu from Faure’s Requiem was the only item that could be construed as classical music. For the rest there was an enjoyable mélange of Billy Joel, Freddie Mercury, Andrew Llloyd Webber, Ray Charles, other popular composers, and traditional African music.

This is an unusually well-trained choir, a fact which reflects much credit on the school’s music director, Angela Stevens. The choir consists of about 40 singers dressed in a sensible kind of uniform: dark trousers and shirts and colourful waistcoats. They were at their best, I thought, in the more animated numbers, which were performed with style and verve. Mind you, the more soulful items also evoked much enthusiasm from the audience.

The college orchestra opened the programme in lively fashion, and the soloists who performed later included players of the piano, violin, saxophone, recorder and drums.

The Kearsney choir has achieved high distinction in competitions in Europe and has performed widely in South Africa. The opportunity for musical training and performance is or should be an essential element in education, and it is good to know that this policy is being so vigorously pursued at this major school. - Michael Green




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