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Grahamstown Sings!​

Published on 19 March 2014

Masicule – Let’s Sing! is a choral concert taking place in Grahamstown on Sunday 23 and Monday 24 March, at 16:30 and 19:30 respectively. Hosted by immensely popular Umhlobo Wenene presenter, Putco Mafani; and made up of choirs from all over Grahamstown, the massed choir finale will include at least 500 voices and promises to be a goose-bump inducing experience!

 Logo Creative City Grahamastown

A Creative City initiative, Masicule is the first of a number of planned celebrations of the City’s creativity. It was born out of a question and an idea: ‘What is the most popular mass participation artform in our City?’ “There are thousands of singers – in church choirs, recreational choirs, groups of friends, schools, Rhodes, informal groups…” explains National Arts Festival Manager Kate Davies, “so we used that as our starting point and looked for a single occasion to bring them all together.”

This concert, which will take place in the Guy Butler Theatre in the 1820 Settler’s Monument, will be both a celebration of the human voice and an affirmation of something the City does well en masse – regardless of where we live, what our background is, where we go to school or church. Masicule brings together a few hundred singers of all ages, to perform as individual choirs and then as the largest single group of singers assembled on a Grahamstown stage.

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Grahamstown and the 1820 Settler's Monument. Pic Bazil Raubach
Grahamstown and the 1820 Settler’s Monument. Pic Bazil Raubach

Choirs from Graeme College, PJ Olivier, Ntsika Secondary, Victoria Girls’ High School, St Andrew’s College, Rhodes University, the South African Police, Diocesan School for Girls, Nombulelo High School, Kingswood College and Pro Carmine will participate as well as The Voices, GC2, Sibu Mkhize, The Twins and other small and large groups. The concert is directed by Gareth Walwyn (director of Access Music Project, and a freelance music director for big stage and broadcast events) and produced by Priscilla Glover (music teacher at Graeme College, who has sung in and/or conducted choirs for over 40 years).

Creative City is partnering with SAfm who will record the concert for broadcast on 6 April at 12:00. A commercial CD will also be produced later in the year. Proceeds from the concerts and CD sales will be used to establish a bursary for someone who wants to study singing, reinvesting in the artform and in the people of Grahamstown.

Tickets are R40 and can be booked through Makana Tourism (High Street), Fusion Speciality Foods (Pepper Grove Mall) and the National Arts Festival Office (Monument). Block bookings and further enquiries can be made through Kate Davies by email – or by contacting Carolyn Stevenson-Milln or Kate Davies at the Festival Office: 046 603 1163 / 046 603 1192.

The Creative City Project is a project of the National Arts Festival and the Makana Municipality that aims to provide sustainable projects through the art industry that will increase the local economy and further develop inter-community relationships. The project is supported through funding from The European Union, The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, and Makana Municipality.

The National Arts Festival, now in its 40th year, has proved its sustainability and has grown to be one of the leading arts festivals in southern Africa. Its objectives are to deliver excellence; encourage innovation and development in the arts by providing a platform for both established and emerging South African artists; create opportunities for collaboration with international artists; and build new audiences.

The National Arts Festival is sponsored by The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Standard Bank, The Department of Arts and Culture, The Eastern Cape Government, The National Arts Council, City Press and M Net.