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PRESIDENTíS CONCERT (article first published : 2007-05-1)

Durbanites will be treated to an impressive evening of music when the talented youth of KwaZulu-Natal unite to perform in what is known as the Presidentís Concert at the Durban City Hall on May 4. Appearing will be over 250 young people from the KwaZulu-Natal Youth Choir, KwaZulu-Natal Youth Orchestra and the Northern Natal Youth Choir.

The KwaZulu-Natal Youth Choir boasts the most talented voices from KZNís schools and universities including scholars and students between 15 and 26 years of age. Since its formation in 1968, the choir has toured extensively and has had numerous invitations to perform internationally. They have competed in Belgium, England, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Vienna, Finland, Holland, France, Czech and Slovakian Republics, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Greece. After each of these competitions, the choir has returned to South Africa in proud possession of high international placings and, in some cases, with gold, silver and bronze medals. Due to this exceptionally high international standard of singing, the choir was invited to perform in Germany in June 2005. They were the first choir to represent South Africa in the prestigious 4th International Johannes Brahms Choir Competition in Wernigerode, Germany. The choir returned from Germany victorious after being awarded two gold medals.

Gerard du Toit has been the KZN Youth Choirís popular artistic director since August 1996. He is famous for his song Sounds Of Africa which brought a gold medal back to South Africa in 2003 when the Choir performed in the International Choral Festival in Preveza in Greece where it also won the folklore section. During the 2007 July holidays, the KwaZulu-Natal Youth Choir will tour to Estonia where they will sing in an International Choral Festival.

The KwaZulu-Natal Youth Orchestra, under the baton of Ian Holloway, will also perform in the Presidentís Concert. This orchestra comprises members from all over KZN and is well known for its outreach programme. Since 2005, the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra has played a major role in the development of disadvantaged musicians and started the Inanda Community Arts Centre for this purpose. The KZNPO donates tuition to the project and to promising young musicians who come from surrounding areas such as Umlazi, Chesterville, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu. The KwaZulu-Natal Youth Orchestra members assist in providing instruments and invite the Inanda Arts Centre musicians to perform with them at certain venues, providing a thrilling highlight of the year for many of these disadvantaged musicians.

The Northern Natal Youth Choir is made up of members from the Ladysmith, Newcastle, Dundee and Glencoe areas of KZN. Their focus is more on contemporary music and they have also toured extensively and performed with the Drakensberg Boysí Choir at the Music in the Mountains Concert.

The KwaZulu-Natal Youth Choir Alumni for past members will be launched at The Presidentís Concert and there will also be an art exhibition. A special invitation is extended to all past choristers to attend this evening.

The Presidentís Concert takes place at 19h00 on May 4. Tickets R50 for both adults and children booked through Ilse Bothma on 083 629 9562 or Gerard Venter on 084 525 7745. As seats are not reserved it is advisable to arrive early. Light refreshments will be on sale on the evening.

Further information from the KZN Youth Choir on e-mail: info@kznyouthchoir.org.za or visit http://www.kznyouthchoir.org.za




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