GEORGE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS - The Carpe Musicam! Orchestra and Choir last performed in George in December 2019 at the Botanical Garden’s Christmas Carol Concert. “Lockdown started on the very evening that our Last Night of the Proms season (together with the Durban Caledonian Society Pipe Band) was about to start,” says Norman Carless, the conductor.
He says their fifth birthday celebration concert season in July, during which they would have performed together with the New Hampshire Friendship Chorus from the USA, also had to be cancelled.
It has been a long dry season since their last revenue-earning concert in September 2019, and they are eagerly looking forward to their first concert of 2020 in George, to be held on 25 October in the Garden Route Botanical Garden.
The same programme will be performed in the Mossel Bay Town Hall on 18 October at 15:30.
The programme consists of light, toe-tap-inspiring hits from the 1700s right up to a piece that was only published very recently. Included in the programme will be the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine in the style of Sousa, two tangos, a samba by Mozart, three Swing era favourites including In the Mood and a selection of Sinatra hits in a lush Broadway-style arrangement.
The orchestra leader, violinist Cherith Bain, will solo in a new arrangement of Elgar’s Salut d’Amour. Later in the programme she will team up with her co-leader, Jean Kotzé, for the ever-popular Vivaldiana – a Ba-Rock spoof on Vivaldi’s style of music.
“We will still celebrate our fifth year of existence together with any audience members who turn five this year or whose birthday falls on 25 October with Rossini’s Birthday Party, which has moments both sublime and ridiculous,” says Carless.
Proceeds for this concert will be split between the botanical garden and the orchestra to help with the funding of ongoing projects. Tickets are priced at R50 per adult, and under-18s enter free. Physical distancing between audience members will be the order of the day, so bring along your picnic basket and spread out and enjoy.
The orchestra and choir were forced to discontinue rehearsals during the stricter phases of lockdown. In July they were given the green light to continue and a 20-piece orchestra started practising again. This has since grown to the 32-piece orchestra that will be performing in October.
“It has been difficult to find a rehearsal space that will fit us all, while still conforming to the required distancing protocols,” says Carless. “The choir has been put on ice for the remainder of 2020 as group singing has been shown to be especially conducive to the spread of virus-bearing droplets.”
Carless says a large portion of the choir members are in high-risk groups and it is felt to be too dangerous at this stage to continue with rehearsals.
“Quite frankly, a masked choir with each member standing three metres from the next will not only take up a huge amount of space, but look ridiculous - and be just about entirely unworkable, especially at an outdoor event where amplification is necessary.”
Tickets for the concert in Mossel Bay are priced at R120 each for adults and under 18s enter free.
'We bring you the latest George, Garden Route news'