For ten years, US-based cultural organization Classical Movements, has held the annual Ihlombe Festival in South Africa. This year, the series of concerts and gatherings of five choirs of 250 voices from the USA and 23 choirs with 1 200 voices from Southern Africa, will honour Nelson Mandela’s centenary, and will feature new works composed by celebrated South African composers who have woven the poignant words of the great leader into the songs that will be performed.
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The concerts will take place from 1-20 July 2018 across the country at multiple venues. Prices vary according to what shows you attend.
Multiple choirs will come together for 2018 Ihlombe South African Choral Festival event including:
The Ihlombe! Festival’s Voices of Hope, Freedom and Unity tour unites choirs from Baltimore, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington and Atlanta with local choirs from Eersterivier, Khayelitsha and Bonteheuwel in Cape Town, Soweto, Soshanguve and Diepkloof in Gauteng, among others. Two choirs from Zimbabwe will also join the tour as they move through the Western, Southern and Eastern Cape as well as Gauteng Provinces and perform in concerts in Soweto, Johannesburg, Soshanguve, Cape Town (Bonteheuwel, Kenmere, Kayalitsha) as well as George and Port Elizabeth.
13 collaborative concerts with 23 African youth, church and community ensembles, will exchange cultures through shared workshops, side-by-side rehearsals and outreach projects across the country.
High points include a performance at the Regina Mundi church in Soweto, a site steeped in protest history and St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, another church deeply involved in the liberation struggle, where the choirs will perform on 18 July, to mark the birth date of Nelson Mandela. A visit to Mandela’s own home province, the Eastern Cape, seems a fitting date on this itinerary dedicated to the icon.