We are now in the middle of the festival, and getting up is becoming harder every day. Rehearsals are intensifying, and the biggest challenge is to keep the concentration levels up.
Ever since our arrival on the campus, festival goers have been asking us whether we will be playing a separate concert during the week. Although we were at pains to explain that we are only scheduled to play the prelude to the festival chorus concert on Friday, the “demand” for a concert by us continues. To overcome this, our prelude playing is now being billed as a concert. In this spirit, we are also now telling people that we will play a selection from our concert programmes.
The Hosanna Ringers from Friedland Moravian Church, a hand-bell choir, were the guest performers for the mini concert. This is a particularly big ensemble, and was a new experience for most of us. Their programme was very interesting and surprisingly included “Siyahamba”. This piece is clearly well known in the USA, and is sung by many choirs, but it remained a surprise to hear it being played by a bell choir. Listening to this concert was another pleasant experience, and one must say that the mini concerts presented during the week were not only of a high standard, but also a good selection of contrasting performs.
The workshop on Music Around the World was repeated, and this time our whole group went along to join in the presentation on South Africa, for which Tyrone was once again responsible. With “Christian hearts in love united” being sung in several different languages, we sang the Afrikaans version to the standard Moravian tune 167A. We then sang the English version to the Zulu tune which is so popular at home. This was highly appreciated by the Americans.
The evening “concert” was another joy. This involved the entire audience singing Moravian anthems to accompaniment by the festival orchestra . This was a very enjoyable sight singing exercise for most of the audience. We have probably only heard one or two the pieces being sung by our choirs in South Africa before.