The Federation of Afrikaans Cultural Associations (FAK) gives classical music a new lease of life in the city of Jakaranda. The Pretoria Symphony Orchestra performed for the first time in history in the Cenotaph Hall of the Voortrekker Monument on Tuesday evening and hundreds of people flocked to this performance.
The music of GF Händel’s Messiah echoed through the monument and the golden voices of the Canendo Project Choir accompanied the symphony orchestra.
“The atmosphere created by the Cenotaph Hall made this event truly special. The acoustics of the choir and orchestra that reverberate from bottom to top make performances like this unique,” said Jaco van Staden, the FAK’s project manager of music development.
The conductor of the Pretoria Symphony Orchestra, Braam van Tonder, agrees: “The acoustics in the monument emphasized the piece we performed very nicely, which is unique compared to other performances we have done.”
Music is the heartbeat of Afrikaner culture and must be promoted. The FAK believes that the love for classical music comes from our European ancestors and South African musicians do not always have the necessary opportunities on local soil to pursue such a career.
“We have incredible talent here in South Africa, but so many musicians go to Europe or America. If we host more events like this, we will keep professional musicians in South Africa. So, for me, this concert was a great highlight because if we can build concerts of this caliber into our own unique South African character, there is no need for people to go overseas to pursue a music career,” Braam added.
“I have this performance of the Messiah particularly enjoyed. The symphony orchestra, the choir and the soloists’ performances were exceptional and the quality of the sound was excellent. I really enjoyed it,” said Leon Pretorius, one of the concert goers.
“People discover that the monument is a home where these types of performances are accessible,” says Jaco. “The turnout of this concert confirms that the public is hungry for high standard classical performances.
It was also noticeable that the youth and even children particularly enjoyed this performance.
Anaïs van Huyssteen (8), could not stop talking about how nice the concert was for her.
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