Corobrik Orchestra concert in Durban

Musicians and music-lovers in and around Durban, make a note to diarise Sunday, August 9. That’s the date for the Corobrick Orchestra concert in Durban. The British Cultural and Heritage Association (BCHA) has lined up an enticing programme of musical items to be performed by a massed ad hoc orchestra under the baton of maestro Richard Cock, always a major role-player on our national music scene. The annual event includes the participation of the Steel Drum Band and its affiliate group of Marimba Players.

Participants and audience members will be pleased to hear that the venue chosen for Corobrik Orchestra 2015 is in a more central locale than it has been in recent years. It will take place in the Nkulisa Conference Centre, in the grounds of Penzance Primary School, at 61 Penzance Road in Glenwood.

The event will kick off 2.30 pm, following a massed orchestra rehearsal will be held between 11 am and 2 pm. As a curtain-raiser to the main concert, the Marimba Players will perform between 2.30 pm and 2.50 pm, followed by a 20-minute performance by the Steel Drum Foundation from 3 pm which will include the traditional song, Masithi Amen.

The main concert runs from 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm, opening with the South African National Anthem. Items to be heard on the generously packed line-up of concert evergreens include: the Theme from Star Wars by John Williams; the Richard Rodgers’s musical standard, Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific; Glow Idyll by Paul Lincke; King Cotton by Suza, Brahms’s Hungarian Rhapsody No 5; and the much-loved Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss Jnr.

This will be followed by performances of three popular items such as Bare Necessities, Shosholoza, You’ll Never Walk Alone, a Sinatra medley titled Salute to Ole Blue Eyes, and the show-stopping Can-Can from Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld.

Participants must be able to read and play music. They are required to pay an entry fee of R60, and to register to play either as individuals of as part of a group. Each musician will be issued with a complimentary ticket for a family member or friend to attend the event.

Participants are encouraged to be as conversant as possible with the prescribed music, so that the concert will be a fulfilling experience if all players perform at their best, thus achieving a successful team effort.

Says conductor Cock, the mastermind behind the project: “This annual event offers aspirant musicians the unique experience of simply jumping in the deep end and playing in an orchestra. Without professional experience, but with a modicum of preparedness, it is astonishing how readily the process comes together with one intensive rehearsal session.

“People with a variety of skills are carried along by the overall impetus, and by the prevailing spirit of shared endeavour. The stronger players pull the weaker ones along with them. Everyone has to play along, and our audience is invariably amazed at what can be achieved under duress. I always try to create an environment which enables people to savour the joy of making and listening to music with each other. This is a perfect example.”

“The all-embracing sound of orchestral music has the power to exercise a positive effect over audiences, by creating in a spirit of upliftment and of shared emotional experience,” says Dirk Meyer, managing director of Corobrik. “This effect is often tinged with happy memories, and it invariably creates a positive energy and a rich sense of communal enjoyment. For this reason Corobrik is delighted once again to support Orchestra 2015. We wish all the practicing and amateur musicians involved in the project, as well as the lovers of music who form our audience, an exhilarating and memorable time spent in each other’s company.”

To register to play in Corobrik Orchestra 2015, call 031 202 6174 or email bcha1820@global.co.za. Secure parking is available. Seating is unreserved and tickets at R50 will be sold at the door.

The British Cultural and Heritage Association offers sponsored tickets to the John Palmer Residence for the Blind and the KZN Cerebral Palsy Association, as well as  a number of children’s homes, who greatly appreciate being part of this fun-filled afternoon..

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