Have a look at the line-up:
1Wednesday free lunch hour concerts – Wits Great Hall @ 13h15 – 13h50
Wits Theatre and the Wits School of Arts Division of Music are proud to announce that the popular Wednesday lunchtime concerts will continue in the fabulous Wits Great Hall. The Wits Great Hall is the premier performance space as a chamber music auditorium, and is acoustically superior to many music venues with its highly effective acoustic panels. It is also perfect for music and voice recitals, and as such, is well suited to aspiring music students as they practice for their futures in the competitive music industry. The Great Hall is most useful in its capacity for music production. The Hall has three pianos – A Steinway Hamburg Grand, a Yamaha Nippon Gakki Baby Grand, and a Yamaha Nippon Gakki Upright piano. The Hall accommodates wheelchairs, with two wheelchair routes leading to the Great Hall, one from the basement parking of Soloman Mahlangu House (formerly Senate house), and the other from Yale Road.
Wednesday Lunchtime Concert Dates:
• First Quarter (6 February – 24 March): 15 & 22 February, 1, 8, 15 & 22 March
• Second Quarter (3 April – 19 May): 5, 12, 19 & 26 April, 3, 10 & 17 May
• Third Quarter (24 July – 8 September): 26 July, 2, 16, 23 & 30 August, 6 September
• Fourth Quarter (18 September – 31 October): 20 & 27 September; 4, 11, 18 & 25 October
2New York Round Midnight (Karendra Devroop) – Wits Theatre: Friday, 10 March @ 19h30
New York Round Midnight is currently one of the greatest international jazz theatre productions. It features a 9-piece band and includes a set and narration telling the story of jazz in New York City, while performing some of the most recognised jazz compositions ever written. The entire production, which is performed over 90 minutes, takes the audience on a journey of jazz, starting with the A Train and getting off on 42nd street. While visiting the various jazz clubs, artists are introduced to the legendary jazz musicians of the time such as Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. The production has been performed extensively abroad and for the first time in South Africa, it will be performed with an all-South African cast led by internationally recognised South African jazz saxophonist, Karendra Devroop.
3From Sea to Shining Sea (Christian Bester) – The Wits Atrium: Wednesday, 22 March @ 19h30
The recital will feature a variety of compositional styles and regional flavours of American art song composers, composed at the turn of the nineteenth-century till present day. The programme will feature, among others, Simon Sargon’s “A clear midnight,” poems by Walt Whitman, for baritone, piano and horn. This ‘unusual’ trio offers the listener a unique musical texture. The composition presents the horn soloist as an equal player in the musical fabric, rather than its usual role as obligato instrument.
4Addison Frei SA Tour – Wits Great Hall: Friday, 7 April @ 19h30
The New York-based pianist has won first prize in several competitions, including the 2016 UNISA International Piano Competition in Pretoria, South Africa, the 2015 American Jazz Pianist Competition in Melbourne, Florida and the 2012 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition, where he was noted as the youngest competitor. He has toured and recorded in a duo setting alongside Manhattan Transfer cofounder, Janis Siegel. In New York, Frei has held residencies at the Kitano, the Cell Theatre and Somethin’ Jazz, and performed at venues such as Minton’s, Birdland, Cornelia St., Café, Pangea and Rockwood Music Hall, among others. He has served as musical director of B-Side Productions’ Adding Machine and The Wild Party. Frei also headlined the 2015 Wichita Jazz Festival, brought his group to the Dallas Museum of Art and joined vibraphonist Christian Tamburr at the Lied Center of Kansas. Frei’s acclaimed compositions have earned him invitations to Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead, Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute and Generations International Jazz Festival’s Workshop.
5The Andre Petersen Quartet – Wits Great Hall: Tuesday, 11 April @ 19h30
Award-winning jazz pianist, and recently appointed Wits lecturer, Andre Petersen, is sure to set the Great Hall alight with his incredible quartet featuring recent Berklee College of Music graduate and now New York -based, Kesivan Naidoo (drums), Sisonke Xonti (saxophone) and Romy Brauteseth (bass). The concert will feature mostly original material from Petersen’s two recently released albums, the Norwegian/ South African collaboration, “The Storm Inside” featuring Feya Faku, and the acclaimed two-piano album with New York-based classical pianist, Kathleen Tagg, “Where Worlds Collide”. It is an eclectic programme of original material with influences of Cape Ghoema, classical, post-Bop and many more, delivering a uniquely Pan-African sound – a concert not to be missed!
6Motswako 1 – The Music Room: Tuesday, 25 April @ 19h30
Motswako the Mix concert, part 1, will showcase the best of the Wits School of Arts’ Classical and Jazz Student Musicians. Students are selected following a rigorous audition round judged by the music performance staff. This ensures that only the best students are part of the concert, with extensive preparation and rehearsals guaranteeing a high standard of performance across two major musical genres. This concert provides a professional platform for these students to engage with a responsive public audience. It also serves as a showcase for the young talent and high standard of teaching provided at Wits University, encouraging potential young audience members to find out more about possible careers in music. The annual Motswako concert has proven to be such a hit in previous years that this year it will be in two parts. Part 2 will take place in the second semester.
7First Years in Concert – The Wits Atrium: Tuesday, 16 May @ 19h30 New musos make music
The first-year music students from the Wits School of Arts Music Division perform for friends, lecturers and the public on the open stage. This varied group of musicians will sing and play the piano, guitar, drums and violin. The students undergo a rigorous audition process to be allowed to perform in this concert. This means that only the top students from a strong first year class will be heard on the night. For many of these students, this is the first time that they will perform in public as Wits School of Arts students, showcasing the work they have done throughout the year so far. Please come and support our first-year students as they take their first step on the ladder to musical success.
8Sound Us Out (SUO) 1 (String Quartet) – The Wits Atrium: Monday, 17 July @ 19h30
It’s that time of the year again when some of the Division of Music’s final year student composers are introduced to the public. The concert is staged with the able guidance of one of the Division of Music’s lecturers who is one of South Africa’s finest composers and musicians, Andile Khumalo.
9The Dean’s Concert – The Wits Atrium: Tuesday, 1 August @ 19h30
A programme of Western classical music, jazz and popular music. A number of years ago, the Dean of Humanities, with foresight, felt that there was an absolute necessity to raise money for financially disadvantaged first-year music students at Wits University. A concert was the obvious vehicle as a fundraiser and what better way than for the first-year students to perform in the concert and then have a small panel of lecturers judge their performances and award prizes in designated amounts of cash to the three winners. Further, in acknowledgement of the initiator of the idea, the concert would be called The Dean’s Concert. The tradition has been maintained and expanding on the lunch-hour concept, the concert highlights some of the First Year and Foundation music student performers. Students compete for monetary prizes sponsored by the present Dean of Humanities, Prof. Ruksana Osman. The programme includes western classical, jazz, and popular music. Entrance is FREE and seats are allocated on a first come first serve basis. Do not miss the opportunity to imbibe some of the country’s hottest budding talent, specially selected by the Division of Music’s practical staff.
10The Wits Trio – The Wits Atrium: Sunday, 20 August @ 15h00 – Malcolm Nay (Piano), Zanta Hofmeyr (Violin), Maciej Lacny (Cello)
The Wits Trio returns to the Atrium for another concert since the Trio’s inauguration in 2012 when they started their chamber music circuit. It is a much-anticipated event that delivers an unforgettable music experience with talented Zanta Hofmeyr (violin), Maciej Lacny (cello), and Malcolm Nay (piano). Zanta Hofmeyr graduated from the Juilliard School of Music in New York where she was a student of Dorothy Delay and Hyo Kang. After her New York debut in Carnegie Recital Hall (now Weil recital hall), she returned to South Africa in 1985. Zanta teaches violin in Johannesburg and at the University of Pretoria. Maciej Lacny was born in Cracow (Poland) in 1977. He graduated from the F. Chopin High School (1995) and the Cracow Conservatory of Music (2001) in Prof. Z.Lapinski’s cello class. He also obtained a pedagogical diploma from the Cracow conservatory of music. Living in Johannesburg, Maciej is currently co-principal cello of the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra and has played in several recitals with acclaimed pianist, Malcolm Nay. Malcolm Nay is widely regarded as one of the finest chamber pianists and accompanists in South Africa.
After graduating with a BMus from Wits University where he studied with Pauline Nossel and Isabella Stengel, he travelled on scholarships to America, where he studied with
Bela Siki. He is also sought after as an adjudicator at prestigious music competitions throughout the country, and he continues to perform extensively at the larger festivals in South Africa. He is currently Associate Professor at the Wits School of Arts Division of Music.
11Dizu Plaatjies Ibuyambo Ensemble – Wits Theatre: Tuesday, 19 September @ 19h30
African Indigenous Music – Ibuyambo Ensemble, based in Cape Town, is a traditional ensemble lead by former Amampondo leader, Dizu Plaatjies. The five-piece group performs traditional, neo-traditional and original African songs. Virtually all instruments are handmade out of wood, animal skins, seeds and hand beaten metal. The Johannesburg audience will have a rare opportunity to experience some of the best performances of marimba, mbira, akadinda, umrhubhe, uhadi, and African drumming, presented by Dizu Plaatjies and Ibuyambo Ensemble. The ensemble tours frequently to Europe, America and South America.
12Motswako 2 – The Music Room: Tuesday, 17 October @ 19h30
African Indigenous Music – Motswako the Mix showcases the best of the Wits School of Arts’ Classical and Jazz student musicians. Students are selected following a rigorous audition round judged by the music performance staff. This ensures that only the best students are part of the concert, with extensive preparation and rehearsals guaranteeing a high standard of performance across two major musical genres. This concert provides a professional platform for these students to engage with a responsive public audience. It
also serves as a showcase for the young talent and high standard of teaching provided at Wits University, encouraging potential young audience members to find out more about possible careers in music. The annual Motswako concert has proven to be a hit in previous years, and this concert is the second part, following the successful concert in April this year.
13Sound Us Out (SUO) 2 The Music Room Atrium: November @ 19h30
Electronics: a musical, visual and scientific adventure: Final Year Composition students of Cameron Harris and Jonathan Crossley.
Online, full = R 80.00; discount (students/pensioners) = R 55.00
Box-office, full = R 85.00; discount (students/pensioners) = R 60.00
For further information visit our website: www.wits.ac.za/witstheatre
The above details are subject to change.
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