“We Don’t Only Sing Latin”

Nicole Bentley

For a person that is not big into gospel and choir music, the Rhodes University Chamber Choir concert really gave me goose bumps that I was definitely not expecting. On the 21st of October 2010 the Rhodes Chamber Choir did their final concert in the Rhodes Chapel. This was truly an eye opening experience. They were professional and overall mind-blowing. It was a small intimate crowd with plenty energy that matched that of the choir.

They sang a variety of songs that catered for the enter audience going from Latin songs such as Alma Redemptoris by G. P da Palestrina to Eric Clapton?s Tears in Heaven to traditional African songs such as Yohane ndibhapatizeshe nam by Usweeti Wam.  The choir even performed the traditional Rhodes Choir song Sweet Nightingale by arr. G Gruber where they invited past choir members at the concert to join in with the singing. The choir performed songs composed by members of the choir, the conductor and pervious conductors of the Rhodes University Chamber Choir which kept the concert very close at heart and made the audience feel very much a part of the university and proud to be a part of Rhodes University.

The choir kept their performance at a very high level throughout the concert and only loosing their step once with a song that had been put together by one of the choir members. And when this happen they assured the audience that this was something that had never happened before with a little bit of an embarrassed giggle.

Conductor John McGuiness kept the audience very well informed on what was being sung about and was very entertaining at the same time. He did a very good job of keeping the choir in time and singing at their best. All 25 choir members, the basses, tenors, sopranos and altos all harmonized perfectly and gave the audience a brilliant performance that not a single person there could possibly complain about.

Professor Georg Gruber started the Rhodes University Chamber Choir (RUCC) in 1953 and I?m sure with what was displayed on the night of the 21st he would have been a very proud man to see what the choir has become.

The whole performance was fresh, enthusiastic, and was overall very exciting. The quality was brilliant and was fun for all who attended. Definitely worth the R10 paid to see the concert. 2011 should be jam-packed year full of choir events that I would definitely recommend everyone go and see.


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