Thursday, 18 July 2019

Choral society is ‘singing the songs of Africa’

Choral society is ‘singing the songs of Africa’

THE South Chiltern Choral Society is preparing to “sing the songs of Africa” at its summer concert next Saturday (July 13).

The concert at Highdown School in Surley Row, Emmer Green, will see the society join forces with a professional jazz quintet and the school choir for a performance of Zimbe! by the English composer Alexander L’Estrange.

Subtitled “Come sing the songs of Africa!” the large-scale choral work dates from 2008 and represents a fusion of African song and jazz.

After receiving 150 performances in its first five years it established L’Estrange, who was born in 1974, as one of Britain’s most popular living choral composers.

A South Chiltern Choral Society spokesman said: “Zimbe is Swahili for ‘Sing them’ and Zimbe! combines traditional African songs with infectious accompaniments and vibrant percussion to take us on a whirlwind tour of life in an African village reflecting some of the ways in which music plays a part in everyday life in Africa.

“This sequence of choral arrangements was written by Alexander L’Estrange for a collaboration between Dorking Choral Society and various local schools, intended to forge the links between adult and children choirs.

“It was inspired by the use of music in The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency filmed in Botswana at that time. Zimbe! is at times touching and moving, at other times raucous and energetic and all of the time incredibly uplifting both for performers and audiences alike.”

Overseeing the performance, which is also set to feature a wide variety of drums, shakers and bells, will be the society’s musical director and conductor Paul Burke.

The spokesman added: “Highdown School’s parent-teacher association will be selling refreshments and amazing barbecue food from 5.30pm and the concert will start at 7.30pm, with the doors opening at 6.45pm. We look forward to seeing you there!”

Adult tickets are priced £12 in advance or £13 on the door, with concessions for six- to 18-year-olds £6 in advance and £7 on the door. There is free entry for under-sixes.

Online booking is available via

For more information, visit www.

To book by telephone, call 0333 666 3366 — but please note that this will cost an extra £1.75 per booking for any number of advance tickets.

Free parking and wheelchair access will be available at the venue.

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