ZUMA CHOIR GOES TO HOLLAND
By: Cassandra Zungu
The J. G. Zuma High School Choir in Kwa-Bester is going to Holland in August this year for the first time.
The Durban-based choir, which has performed with the Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, will perform with the World Orchestra in Lowlands and Amsterdam in Holland.
One of the Choir conductors, Nkosinathi Gama, describes this as a huge opportunity for them and their learners.
“South African school music is only known to a few in South Africa, but we want to take it outside of this continent,” Gama said.
Gama further added that it would be an honour for the school to get such an opportunity to present outside the country, saying that they hope to gain a lot in terms of funding, sponsorship, and exposure that most black schools do not have.
The choir’s opportunity to sing in Holland came as a result of Bongani Tembe, CEO of the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, who recommended that the choir be visited by the World Orchestra when they wanted to visit a township in Durban.
“So they came here and we performed with them. It was their first time in a township and also their first time performing with a high school and they fell in love with us so they decided to showcase our music to the world,” said Gama.
Senzo Mvakwendlu who is one of the senior tenors said that its quiet a fantastic feeling going overseas for the first time.
“Most of us haven’t been on a plane and stuff like that so it will be quite an experience and anticipating,” said Mvakwendlu.
Their first performances will be in Lowlands and Amsterdam from the 15th to the 21st of August. Upon returning, they will perform at the Old Mutual School Choir Competitions in Pietermaritzburg, where the winning choir out ofnine choirs will walk away with R250 000.
Sights have also been set for a trip to Spain, and they have agreed to attend classes at the University of Valencia in Spain for Dramatic Arts, Math, Science, and Maritime Studies. However, Gama said that the only trip that they are certain about for now is going to Holland.
J. G. Zuma High School was built in 1997 and was known then as Ekuthuleni Combined School but was later separated into two. The primary school remained Ekuthuleni and the high school was named after the then Deputy President Mr. Jacob Zuma in 2005.
It caters for children in and around Bester and KwaMashu, to name a few, which leads to classrooms being clogged. The choir is filled with tiny girls and boys that have powerful voices and they have won numerous awards at local, provincial and national level.