10th Ihlombe! Festival to celebrate Madiba’s legacy 


Mandela’s legacy to be celebrated as Classical Movements presents 10th annual IHLOMBE! SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL CHORAL FESTIVAL: “Mandela at 100: Voices of Hope, Freedom & Unity”

Singing Sensations Youth Choir - George - SA
Singing Sensations Youth Choir – George – SA

JULY 1 – 20, 2018: Johannesburg, Soweto, Cape Town, Bonteheuwel, Khayelitsha, George, Port Elizabeth

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12 Concerts | 2 World Premieres | 20+ EnsemblesChoirs from Washington DC, Atlanta, Seattle, Los Angeles, Baltimore

Established in 2009 with a special focus on collaboration and service, Classical Movements’ extraordinary Ihlombe! South African Choral Festival features a true diversity of international choirs performing for effusive audiences in every venue imaginable, making for what the Cape Times calls “singing that nourishes the body and soul.” Over the past decade, Ihlombe! has featured nearly 90 choirs from some 10 countries throughout the entirety of South Africa.

From July 1—20, 2018, the 10th anniversary edition of Ihlombe! will honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nobel Peace Prize-winning icon Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

In the spirit of Madiba’s prized ideals of “Hope, Freedom & Unity,” select youth and collegiate choirs hailing from five major American cities—Atlanta, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington, D.C.—will perform 13 collaborative concerts with more than 15 African youth, church and community ensembles, exchanging cultures through shared workshops, side-by-side rehearsals and outreach projects across the Rainbow Nation.

Kensington Chorale Girls Choir - Kenmere
Kensington Chorale Girls Choir – Kenmere

On Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at the historic St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, the 10th annual Ihlombe! South African Choral Festival’s “Mandela at 100: Voices of Hope, Freedom & Unity” celebration will feature individual performances from all participating ensembles, as well as two world premieres commissioned by Classical Movements’ own Eric Daniel Helms New Music Program for the entire 2018 Ihlombe! mass choir, conducted by world-renowned Sidumo Nyamazele, Africa Specialist at the University of Johannesburg Choir.

Singing Sensations Youth Choir - Baltimore - USA
Singing Sensations Youth Choir – Baltimore – USA

Decorated University of KwaZulu-Natal professor Phelelani Mnomiya has composed a powerful  setting of Madiba’s famous It’s In Your Hands Now speech—delivered on his 90th birthday during the 46664 AIDS charity concert at London’s Hyde Park.

Penning his own text for the second Ihlombe! mass choir commission, award-winning University of the Western Cape professor Sibusiso Njeza’s Uthando Nomculo (“Love and Music”) piece urges us all, in his words, “to love more, to see beyond the color of one’s skin, religion and sexuality.”

“More Than Just Music”   The Citizen

South Cape Childrens Choir - George - SA
South Cape Childrens Choir – George – SA

Throughout his remarkable life and career in activism and politics, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (1918-2013) left a legacy rich in justice and joy. The efforts of leaders including Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired his own and Mandela’s memory outside of South Africa is often vividly associated with ideals more than events, particularly those of Hope, Freedom, and Unity. The two World Premieres commissioned for the festival and the ensembles selected for this year’s Ihlombe! South African Choral Festival represent the festival’s celebration of these ideals and Mandela’s triumph over oppression and his subsequent commitment to reconciliation.

From the opening celebration to the collaborative finale concert, the Ihlombe! festival is a force unlike any other with choirs and music from all over the world!

Imilonji KaNtu Choir Choral Society - Soweto - SA
Imilonji KaNtu Choir Choral Society – Soweto – SA


South African Choirs will include:

  • African Youth Choir; Bulelani Khala – Diepkloof
  • Amabhukudwana; Junior Ngwenya – Johannesburg
  • Amici De Lumine Choir; Michaelangelo Cloete – Mowbray
  • Amy Biehl Choir – Gugulethu
  • Church of the Resurrection Anglican Church Choir; Roger
  • Horne – Bonteheuwel
  • Eersterivier-South Uniting Reform Youth Choir; Mr Ellicson Dourie – Eersterivier
  • iGugu le Kapa Chamber Choir; Phumelele Tsewu – Gugulethu
  • Imilonji KaNtu Choral Society; George Mxadana (OIS) – Soweto
  • Kensington Chorale Girls Choir; Lizl Gaffley – Kenmere
  • Kenmere Primary Junior and School Choirs; Lizl Gaffley – Kenmere
  • Mzomhle Youth Choir; Lwando Thyuthu – Khayelitsha
  • Nazaret Youth Choir – Khayelitsha
  • South African Youth Choir; Phil Robinson – Cape Town
  • South Cape Children’s Choir; Jan-Erik Swart – George
  • St. Charles Lwanga Catholic Church Choir; Evah Mahlaela – Soshanguve
    Additional choirs to be added

International Choirs will include:

  • Atlanta Young Singers; Paige F. Mathis – Atlanta, USA
  • Children’s Chorus of Washington;
  • Margaret Nomura Clark – Washington D.C., USA
  • Imbizo; Mandla Khumalo – Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
  • Inkanyezi Zezulu; Philani Moyo – Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
  • Mt. San Antonio College Chamber Singers; Bruce Rogers – Los Angeles, USA
  • Seattle Children’s Chorus; Kris Mason – Seattle, USA
  • Singing Sensations Youth Choir; Dr. Holley Hood-Mincey – Baltimore, USA



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