Drakensberg Boys Choir festive treat

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Eclectic mix of classic and contemporary

LAST week Monday night, the Drakensberg Boys Choir treated the audience to Christmas ballads and carols at Hudson Park High School.

HEAVENLY VOICES: The Drakensberg Boys Choir do their sound check before their ‘Noël’ concert at Hudson Park High School in the Centenary Hall this week Picture: MADELEINE CHAPUT

The choir, which consists of more than 50 boys, has garnered international acclaim with their worldwide performances.

Recently finishing their Cape tour in celebration of their 50th anniversary, the choir performed their Noël concert in various coastal cities, including Stellenbosch, Plettenberg Bay and Port Elizabeth, with East London being one of the last cities on their route.

“We’ve had lots of fun on this tour and as soon as we get home, we jump straight into our annual two-day music festival Christmas in the Berg,” choir conductor Kenny Kabak said.

The choir’s Noël concert boasted an eclectic music mix of a heavenly classical choral repertoire and more contemporary festive pop numbers.

“Our repertoire includes music from the medieval and baroque periods for educational purposes for the boys, but we also incorporate more modern songs by the likes of Justin Bieber and Pentatonix,” Kabak said.

The Drakensberg Boys Choir School is home to 120 boys from grades 4 to 9. The choir tours annually both nationally and internationally, sharing their passion for music.

“The tours are my favourite part. We go overseas a lot and we get to meet and interact with so many different people and learn about different cultures,” the school’s head boy Liam Müller said.

“The best part about performing all over the world and around South Africa, is the reaction we get from the audience. We love the music, but to see the audience enjoying it as well, is really great.”

The boys rehearse for at least two hours every day, which is evident from their impressive musical harmony.

“We rehearse a lot, but I really like the songs we get to sing. My favourite one is Faith,” 11-year-old Seth Brown said. “I also really like being a part of the school because it’s situated in such a cool place, the rivers in the Drakensberg are my favourite.”

The choir’s performances often involve audience interaction.

“We often end our performances with our rendition of Shosholoza and get the audience to sing along. It creates a great sense of nationalism,” Kabak said.

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