Exhilarating Roedean South Africa concert
RSA choir in the Roedean Chapel (courtesy Larry Bray)

Exhilarating Roedean South Africa concert

06/05/2011

After months of anticipation, the 40 strong choir from Roedean South Africa arrived to warm Brighton sunshine for their finale concert.

Having performed in the great cathedral cities of York, Liverpool, Bath and Salisbury, it felt like something of a homecoming to be performing in the more intimate surroundings of the Roedean Chapel.

The choristers speak multiple languages, and, brilliantly led by Choir Master Ralf Schmitt, they offered a varied programme to a large audience of our students, families and friends.

The enthusiam, emotion and energy was infectious and by the end the audience was on its feet in a rapturous standing ovation. 'These singers have absolutely raised the roof,' said Head of Music Miss Fewkes, 'their performance was stunning.' 

  • Meguru, a traditional Kavongo prayer from Namibia
  • Sanibonani, an isiZulu welcome song
  • Ave Maria
  • Dirait Ton, a setting of a French love poem
  • Avulekile Amasango, a popular Zulu gospel song
  • Single Ladies, Beyonce
  • Over the Rainbow, from The Wizard of Oz
  • Paradise Road, considered to be South Africa’s official HIV/AIDS anthem
  • Bhejane, an isiZulu prayer for the safety of South Africa’s rhinos
  • Oxamu, an isiXhosa song
  • Fix You, Coldplay
  • This is the Day, a setting of Psalm 118 (sung at the Royal Wedding)
  • Umqombothi, a classic South African song
  • Road to the South, a celebration of African migration

'What girls, and what powerful and amazing joy in their singing!' said one audience member. 'One had to remind oneself that these performers were still at school', said another.

The choir’s last duty was to host a music workshop with Junior School and Year 7 pupils. ‘All of you sing better than Beyonce, and definitely better than Justin Bieber!” wrote a Year 7 girl afterwards. ‘I absolutely loved it, their songs were really unique’, said another.

The visit finished with the two Headmistresses, Mrs Williams and Mrs King, exchanging gifts of a Roedean South Africa flag and a DB Martin sketch of the school.

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