June 17, 2011
The Cairns Post
The Soweto Gospel Choir’s performance at the Civic Theatre last night (June 16) was nothing short of magnificent.
The show began with the choir singing in the auditorium behind the audience before making their way to the stage.
Everything from the singing to the dancing and music to the colours of the costumes was exuberant and exciting.
It was hard to believe the 26-strong cast weren’t individually radio-miked, so strong was the sound.
The lead singers were fantastic.
One female songstress would give Aretha Franklin a run for her money while another could be a strong contender for the female lead in Jesus Christ Superstar.
The male singers too were excellent from the sweet tenor voice of Jimmy Shiyane to the very distinctive bass of Vusumuzi Manondo.
The dancing choreographed by Jimmy Shiyane ranged from traditional African dances to vigorous tap routines.
The repertoire of the choir likewise ranged from traditional to international numbers.
One of my favourites was the Zulu traditional Ngoma (A Song) with the chorus of Oh, it is Jesus, the choir’s beautiful rendition of Like a bridge over troubled water, and their triumphant encore of Oh Happy Day, to which the audience sang, danced, and shimmied.
The choir were backed up by new members of the Gondwana National Indigenous Children’s Choir, who, directed by artistic director Lyn Williams, sang Many Voices, One Dream and joined in with the Soweto Choir’s spiritually moving and uplifting finale, Schoscholoza.
The Soweto Gospel Choir’s new show African Grace offers a great night of passionate music, song and dance.