Stellenbosch festival of song praised by AmaXhosa Royal Family

Nobakhe Sigcau, chairperson of the AmaXhosa Royal Family, and her husband, Chief Zanekululeko Salakuphathwa, as guests of honour at the e’Bosch School Choir Festival 2023, flanked by Dr Sias Mostert, chairperson, and Carol Lakay, a director of the e’Bosch board.
Patrick de Vries conducts a grouping of learners from the primary schools Cloetesville, St Idas, Rietenbosch, Pieter Langeveldt, Ikhaya, and AF Louw.
Ms L Don conducts a grouping of pupils from the primary schools JJ Rhode, Klapmuts, Dalabuhle, Joostenberg, St Vincent, Simondium.

“There is so much integration in Stellenbosch and we can see it through the music that brings everyone together,” said Nobakhe Sigcau, chairperson of the AmaXhosa Royal Family at the conclusion of the 12th annual e’Bosch School Choir Festival.

In a festival of song to rapturous applause from the audience, some 600 primary school pupils from a total of 17 Stellenbosch and Franschhoek schools presented the second instalment of the e’Bosch School Choir Festival 2023 on Thursday September 28, at the Coetzenburg Sports Centre in Stellenbosch.

The first event for secondary schools was held on September 1, at the Stellenbosch High School.

“Music builds bridges, it is work in progress and may it continue to transform Stellenbosch to become what their people desire it to be,” concluded Mrs Sigcau, who attended the event with her husband Chief Zanekululeko Salakuphathwa, as guests of honour for the e’Bosch Heritage Project.

The 17 primary schools who participated this year were Cloetesville, St Paul’s, St Idas, Rietenbosch, Pieter Langeveldt, Ikhaya, AF Louw, JJ Rhode, Klapmuts, Dalubuhle, Joostenberg, St Vincent, Simondium, Devon Valley, Raithby, Weber Gedenk, and Dorothea.

The schools were divided into three clusters performing a variety of medleys covering inter alia songs from Elton John, Ben E King, Jenn Bostic, George Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Francois van Coke and Karen Zoid, Sally K Albrecht, and Marthie Driesen.

Other highlights of the event were also performances of the Stellenbosch University Brass Ensemble under the direction of Wade Williams, soprano Sashon Johnson, trumpet player Courtney Sampson, and the South African Youth choir directed by Phil Robinson.

John Frans, the e’Bosch School Choirs festival director, also accompanied several numbers on the piano.

“The e’Bosch School Choir Festival is one of the flagship events of the some of 40 events presented each year by the e’Bosch Heritage Project,” says Dr Sias Mostert, chair of the board.

“We see music as an integral tool to further our aims inter alia to eliminate social injustices and facilitating inclusion for all. Music not only enables everyone to celebrate their own heritage, but also to build bridges between different social and cultural groups,” says Dr Mostert.

The e’Bosch School Choir Festival is the largest gathering of school pupils for this type of event in the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek districts since its first 2012 performance.