Western Cape Choral Music Association: Soloist Development Finals held at the JL Zwane Memorial Church.
Palm Strings Quartet & Albert Combrink
Lucia di Blasio-Scott, Titia Blake, Renette Swart, Barbara Kennedy
Judges: Bongiwe Nakani, Beverley Chiat, Phumzile Theo Magongoma, Violina Anguelov
Project Manager: Charles Banjatwa
Artistic Team: Sibusiso Njeza, Mandla Kala, Monwabisi Mbambani
Chairperson: Lungile Jacobs
Secretary: Masixole Makwetu
The Church at which the competition was held has a very rich history. The Rev. Jeremiah Lafangaye Zwane of Pietermaritzburg congregation was requested by a special Commission to take charge of a very devided congregation. He arrived in Cape Town in February of 1952 and left the congregation at the end of that year united and ready to call a minister. The Rev. JL Zwane is still remembered for his commitment to reconciliation, peace and love among Christians.
The Western Cape Choral Musica Association hosted an Oratorio Solo Singing Competition as part of their Soloist development programme. Semi-finals were held in carious regions and I conducted some training workshops with the finalists to prepare them for the final round.
The J.L. Zwane Center is a church with baptismal font and ritual drum but it functions as a community center, often having been used as a meeting place for political activists in the struggle era.
Where a cathedral has stained glass windows, here, the worshipful space is created by the spirit which inhabits it.
A multi-use space flows seemlessly inside and out.
Beautiful colours invited us to a festive day.
Music competitions are really important inthe community. The coveted medal comes with a chas cheque, which most of the winners donated to their choirs and choir organisations
I love the signs of enthusiasm and creativity everywhere!
The view from the back room, a lovely vibrant community on a beautiful autumn Cape Town day!
A copy of the evaluation the judges use to help them in the difficult task of selecting the winners.
Violist Renette Swart
The venue is filled with evocative artwork.
Wise words on the wall.
Adjudicators Bongiwe Nakani and Theo Magongoma. Nakani has impressed audiences in Cape Town with her rendition of the lead role in Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”. Magongoma has performed with many opera performances, from the William Kentridge “Magic Flute” to “Porgy and Bess” with Cape Town Opera.
Adjudicators Beverley Chiat (One of South Africa’s top coloratura sopranos) and mezzo-soprano Violina Anguelov. Both have made their name in oratorio performances nationwide and their stage- and teaching experience made them perfectly suited to judge the young voices.
What a privilege to perform the Oratorio accompaniments with these talented ladies. We arranged the arias for piano quintet – cheaper than an orchestra, but yet providing some orchestral colour to give the singers the opportunity to perform at a higher level.
Our delightful master of ceremonies, Mr Tsewu.
Chairperson of WECCMA Mr Lungile Jacobs.
Social Media Sopranos. If it hasn’t happened on Facebook it obviously hasn’t happened!
Comments for young singers from an experienced performer.
Adjudicator’s comments from Mr Magongoma: What is the context within which young singers are making their art today?
Beverley Chiat annoucing winners and comments.
Bongiwe Nakani announcing winners.
Mezz-Soprano Bongiwe Nakani announcing winners.
Tenor winner Thamsanqa Mtshaba (UWC) with 2nd and 3rd prize winners Anele Mnxunyelwa and Sihle Mtitshana.
Bass Winner Lungil Hallam gave an astonishingly polished and mature performance.
Beverley Chait addressing the audience.
Big smiles and pride in a job well done!
Mezzo-Soprano Winner Zimkhitha Madikane: a lovely warm voiced singer with a heart-felt interpretation os one of Mendelssohn’s most loved arias.
Soprano winners and runners-up. Zandile Jilaji (2nd place), Zodwa Njolo (1st place) and Ntombesizwe Hallam (3rd place) The soprano category was hotly contested with each of the three top-placed offering something unique. Poise, calm, technique and exquisite voices made the task for the adjudicators a hard one.