By Lula Hlatshwayo
The Rhodes University chamber choir is due to tour nationally these holidays. They leave on the September 8 for Queenstown, Bloemfontein, Benoni,
Johannesburg, Kimberley and Cradock.
The collection of altos, sopranos, bases and tenors are more concerned with the quality of their singing, rather than their numbers. Robert Haxton a tenor one singer, and public relations officer, says that the choir pride themselves in being more of a social family than participators in a choir. Dominic Gaobete, the assistant choir conductor seconds this.
‘Thula umamele’ or ‘be quiet and listen’ is one of the lines from a piece that the choir sings and one cannot help but do exactly that. They will get you clicking along and you will find yourself swaying to the gentle sound. Haxton says that there are plans pending to try and accompany African originals. In the mean time, you can expect to hear songs from Frank Sinatra and Norah Jones, to mention a few. They incorporate a playful, theatrical performance and the multi-talented members play the piano, flute and saxophone.
The only disappointment when one attends a performance by the choir is the poor attendance.
Rhodes needs to hear the voice that represents it musically. Friends of the choir (FOC), is a society that has befriended schools in the townships and
Rhodes halls. They perform for them whenever possible and can be seen in events throughout the year. They have non-beneficial fundraising concerts for different organisations. The choir, unfortunately, does not have a sponsorship fund therefore the performances are between R5 and R10 depending on whether you are a member of FOC or not.
The choir hopes to make the sound of Rhodes one that is recognised and respected. They will be performing with other choirs from Witwatersrand and the University of
Cape Town in hopes of establishing themselves and learning. One can see their pre-tour performance on Thursday, September 7, at the Rhodes Chapel outside the music department.