Preparations for the e’Bosch Schools Choir Festival 2022 set off for a good start this month with a masterclass for school music teachers under the deft hand of choral music veteran and conductor John Frans, the newly appointed school choir co-ordinator.
The masterclass, presented at the University of Stellenbosch’s Endler Music Conservatorium, was attended by some 30 music teachers from the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek districts.
It was centred around the mechanics of working with choirs such as warm-up routines, approaches to conducting and how to choose repertoires.
“My mission with the e’Bosch School Choir festival this year would be to inspire a renewed affection for choral music and singing,” says Mr Frans, a prolific contributor to the development of musical talent in local communities.
Mr Frans, who spent a significant part of his youth honing his craft as a pianist, organist and conductor, is truly a veteran in the world of choral music, and has served the music well in a variety of capacities.
His commitment to creating opportunities for communities to engage in choral music led to the formation of the St. Luke’s Chorale choir in 2013.
He has produced, conducted and curated several concerts over a period of 52 years, with notable performances of excerpts from Handel’s Messiah, Fauré Requiem, and Bach’s Christ Lag in Todes Banden with an orchestra.
He has also produced live jazz programmes featuring Tony Schilder and Zayn Adam.
The e’Bosch Schools Choir Festival, presented in 2012 for the first time, has grown into one of the flagship events of the e’Bosch Heritage Project.
Every year, up to 1 000 pupils from some 30 secondary and primary schools in the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek districts get together in a festival of song to celebrate their cultural diversity and strengthen social cohesion.
Mr Frans and his team plan several additional developmental masterclasses during the months of July and August in the build-up for the e’Bosch School Choir Festival, to be presented on Friday September 23 and Saturday and September 24.