L.A. Children’s Chorus Heads to First South African Tour
Posted Sunday, June 17, 2012-12:47 pm
Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC), continuing its proud tradition of touring nationally and internationally to share its artistry with broader audiences, makes its first trip to the African continent when it tours to South Africa, July 3-20, 2012. During the 20-day tour, the chorus, led by Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson, gives seven performances, including two in Grahamstown as part of South Africa’s prestigious National Arts Festival, conducts several workshops and participates in cultural exchanges with a number of local choirs. Performances are also slated in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria and Drakensburg. To launch the tour, LACC presents a free “send off” concert Sunday, July 1, 7 pm, at Pasadena Presbyterian Church.
The repertoire for LACC’s eminent 60-member touring ensemble features a vibrant mix of classical, folk and contemporary works from around the globe. Highlights include several inventive settings of Shakespearean texts for treble voices, among them Icelandic composer Daníel Bjarnason’sThe Isle is full of noises…, which LACC co-commissioned and premiered at Disney Hall in March and which is based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest; Sir David Willcocks’ The Glories of Shakespeare,whichdraws on texts from The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, Cymbeline andTwo Gentlemen of Verona; Benjamin Britten’s Francie and Douglas Beam’s Spirits. In addition, the chorus performs a selection of works from East, West and South Africa, singing in Xhosa, Zulu and Ndebele, among other tribal languages. From the American songbook are Leonard Bernstein’s I want to be in America and Duke Ellington’s It don’t mean a thing, Walter Hawkins’ spiritual I’m Goin’ Up A Yonder and Keith Hampton’s gospel work Praise His Holy Name. An array of folk and art songs from Indonesia, Australia, France and Austria rounds out the repertoire.
On July 7 and 8, LACC performs at St. Aidan’s Chapel in Grahamstown as part of the National Arts Festival. It appears at the George Museum in George on July 9, the JL Zwane Center in Gugulethu Township on the Cape Peninsula on July 12, Kenmere School in Cape Town on July 13, Soweto on July 15, and the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir School in Drakensberg on July 18.
LACC participates in workshops and/or cultural exchanges with East Cape Children’s Choir, South Cape Children’s Choir, Kensington Girl Choir, Joyful Harmonies Choir, Cantare Children’s Choir, Harmonia Girls Choir and Drakensberg Boys’ Choir. The choir members also enjoy homestays with some of these choirs, and savor the country’s spectacular scenery, such as the beautiful Garden Route, Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain, Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, and a game reserve in Muldersdrift, located below the Swartkop Mountain Range next to the Cradle of Humankind.
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