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PMB CONCERT IN THE PARK (article first published : 2007-06-21)

June 24 is red-letter day for music-lovers in and around Pietermaritzburg. It’s time for the city’s annual Concert in the Park, presented by Parklane Super Spar, with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra as the headline act in a stellar line-up set to entertain a bumper outdoor audience with wide musical tastes in the National Botanic Gardens. Luminaries appearing with the orchestra include as Idols icon Heinz Winkler, velvet voiced diva Carol Trench, popular baritone Federico Freschi and leading SA concert pianist, Christopher Duigan.

With its component of some 70 professional players on full-time call, the KZNPO is Africa’s only permanent symphony orchestra. As such, it is a priceless resource in our midst, providing a wide range of top-class entertainment ranging from fully-fledged symphony concerts to school education programmes, not to mention major outdoor concerts such as Concert in the Park. As each player comes with at least 10 years training including graduating from leading national and international music conservatoires, the KZNPO represents a body whose professional expertise counts for some 700 years of accumulated skills.

Key members of the Orchestra’s players perform a wide range of music up close, as members of chamber music groups such as the acclaimed Kerimov Trio, and behind the scenes, several make their skills available to learners in our region, teaching part time at schools and tertiary education institutions such as UKZN.

“There’s nothing to beat the excitement of hearing Africa’s premier orchestra showing their paces in a programme that has something of appeal for everyone”, says Concert in the Park presenter, Chris Hodgkins of Parklane Super Spar. “They will perform on a spectacular 20 metre-wide stage, their music amplified from nine-metre high speakers. We tend to take this sort of thing for granted, so it’s important to know where they come from, and what they are all about, and just what an eclectic line-up of entertainment Concert in the Park offers”.

The third Concert in the Park follows the phenomenal success of the previous two years’ musical extravaganzas which generated more than R100,000 rand for charity. Proceeds from this year’s event go to the Thandanani Children’s Fountain, a non-profit organization that supports orphans (particularly HIV/AIDS Orphans) and other children in need.

With Russian-born conductor Naum Rousine back on the podium, the bumper programme embraces a wide mix of popular music, as well as well-loved songs and arias plus a hot-list of classics from the orchestra’s choicest repertoire. And as this year’s concert promises to be bigger and better than ever before, the programme climaxes with performances from special guest, Idols winner and South African singing sensation, Heinz Winckler.

Also appearing on the programme, which starts at 12h00 is a line up of KZN groups, all of whom have individually won international acclaim These such the Pietermaritzburg Children’s Choir, the KZN Youth Wind Band, the Pietermaritzburg Caledonian Pipe Band (who also perform Highland Cathedral with the orchestra), and the cast of Maritzburg College’s Beatles tribute show, When I’m 64.

The KZNPO take to the stage at 13h30. The programme for the Concert in the Park includes a selection from the musical Les Miserables. Contemporary favourites include The Rose, I’m a Believer, You Raise Me Up and the jubilant finale, YMCA. Orchestral items include Elgar’s Pomp & Circumstance March No 1, the Radetsky March by the ‘waltz king’ Johann Strauss, a James Bond Medley and the up-tempo Winter Games with Christopher Duigan as the soloist. Programme is subject to change.

Tickets R60 (R30 children) from Parklane Super Spar at 033 342 3487. Bring a picnic and chairs and enjoy another magnificent afternoon of music in spectacular setting. Soak up the music, sunshine and enjoy the magnificent music. Booked picnic areas are available for groups of 20 people or more.

Food hampers are available to order from Parklane Super Spar. These consist of wine, salads, cold meats, pates, cheese and more. For more information log onto www.musicrevival.co.za




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