Singapore Arts Festival 2004 Presents Voices from Heaven

 

Soweto Gospel Choir (South Africa)

 

Voices from Heaven

 

 Date:  4 & 5 June 2004, 8 pm ,5 June 2004, 3 pm matinee 
 Venue:  Victoria Concert Hall
 Tickets:  $52, $42, $32, $22
 Duration:  120 minutes (with intermission)

 

Sponsored by Lee Foundation

 

Accommodation by Allson Hotel

 

“Nothing can prepare really prepare you for the riot of exuberance and depth of emotion emanating from this 24-piece ensemble.” - Fiona Sheperd, The Scotsman

 

The Soweto Gospel Choir may only have been formed at the beginning of 2003, but it has already achieved laudable success both in South Africa and overseas.  The group receives standing ovations regularly, whether it is a performance at His People’s Church in their hometown or their “most memorable” performance in front of former South African President Nelson Mandela at the launch of a new education programme called Mindset. 

 

The warm reception extends beyond the African continent.  At the end of their 32-day sold-out tour of Australia and New Zealand last year, the choir received a Helpmann Award for “Best Contemporary Concert Presentation”. The Helpmann awards were established in Australia in 2001 to recognise excellence and achievement in the live entertainment industry,. 

 

The Soweto Gospel Choir’s tremendous popularity was evident in the 2003 Edinburgh Festival, where it was the fourth highest selling act out of 1,600 acts booked for the Festival. As a result, the organisers had to put on extra shows to meet demand, which led to the choir staging 29 concerts in the space of four weeks! At this year’s Singapore Arts Festival, tickets for the two evening performances were sold out within two months, resulting in a matinee show being added to the programme. 

 

Under the direction of choir master David Mulovhedzi, the Soweto Gospel Choir celebrates the unique and inspirational power of African gospel music.  An exciting musical talent, the 25-strong ensemble draws on the best talents from the churches and the communities of Soweto.  Its members, whose ages range from 18 to 43, are all lead singers in their own community choirs.  Colour and dynamism are the calling cards of the Soweto Gospel Choir. The choir, which dons multi-coloured costumes for added visual impact, includes a four-piece band which creates djembe (percussion) rhythms to accompany the songs. For the Singapore Arts Festival, the choir conducted by Assistant Choir Master Lucas Deon Bok promises to present a seamless show that brims with multi-lingual performances, while ramping up the energy level with their vigorous moves. Watch out too as individual members showcase their vibrant range of vocal talents. Their mix of earthy rhythms and rich harmonies express the vigour of South African harmonies while uplifting your soul.

 

The attached annexes provide more information on the choir and their repertoire:

  • Annex 1 – Soweto Gospel Choir
  • Annex 2 – Biographies of choir members
  • Annex 3 – Repertoire for Voices from Heaven