The Central Drakensberg is home to the internationally acclaimed Drakensberg Boy's Choir School and the region is justifiably proud of the boys - all aged between nine and fifteen and from various cultural backgrounds.
Since 1971 the Drakensberg Boys Choir has toured extensively, establishing an enviable reputation before audiences as far a field as the United States, Europe, Israel, Egypt and the Far East, and winning acclaim as the most outstanding group at World choir festivals.
The choir received a special award at Disney's Magic Kingdom in recognition of the pleasure they bought to American audiences, and at the request of the Vatican, sang at a Papal audience in the presence of 25 000 people.
If the boys are not on holiday or touring, a public performance is held every Wednesday afternoon in the choir school auditorium, a Champagne Valley venue which boasts excellent acoustics.
As the choir has achieved an international reputation for maintaining an exceptional musical standard, many first time concert goers expect to hear only classical and formal choral music. They come away delighted and refreshed after a varied programme of jazz, popular, religious, classical and folk music from Bach and Beethoven to Freddy Mercury and African folk.
Talented musicians perform in quarters or smaller groups, displaying the versatility that has made the Choir famous, nationally and internationally.
For information on dates, times and venues of performances, contact the Drakensberg Boys' Choir School. Tel: (036) 468-1012 Fax: (036) 468-1260, or write to Private Bag X20, Winterton 3340, KwaZulu-Natal.
The Drakensberg Boys' Choir performs every Wednesday at 15:30 (during school terms) in the Drakensberg Auditorium, which is situated at the Choir School in the Champagne Valley, Central Drakensberg.
Rated as one of the top festivals in the country, Music in the Mountains is a unique experience for lovers of music, art and the beauty of nature. The Festival showcases the coral music of the Drakensberg Boys Choir, and features some of South Africa's most popular artists.
Join the Drakensberg Boys Choir for a programme of the diverse Christmas repertoire of the Drakensberg Boys' choir and other guest artists to celebrate in sound the prelude to the festive season. The natural surroundings, the majestic mountains and a world-class auditorium are the setting for this exciting festival.
What a breath of fresh air is this recording by the Drakensberg Boys' Choir from Natal Province, South Africa. This is music of native South Africa and will be unfamiliar to most listeners. It is however, invariably rhythmic, complex, melodic and interesting. I have not previously had the privilege of hearing this extraordinary group of boys and young men, who supply the tenor and bass voices to the choir. Unfortunately, I am not able to critique their work musically other than to say it is refreshing to have such a great expansion in boy choir repertoire available. I would urge our many Western secular choirs to make a greater effort to expand their programming from the all-too-familiar to cultures far removed from our everyday experience. It is my firm belief that the raison d'etre of the boy choir world should be to bring people together through the vehicle of music. The ending of apartheid has not brought an end to South Africa. The Drakensberg Boys' Choir is integrated. They bring hope to the world.
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