South Africa Tour blog

Closing words

Final performance of Imfundo in South Africa at our last dinner

Final performance of Imfundo in South Africa at our last dinner

This post was written by James Brown-Kinsella, a freshman baritone, who also wrote the post "Day 2: A Roaring Welcome".

It's hard sum up our trip to South Africa without writing a novel along the way, so I'll try to be brief. The theme uniting our journey was a profound sense of awe and wonder. Whether it was amazed reverence at the stunning terrain and the glorious wild animals, or sober respect for South Africa's heavy history and their continuing struggles, each day left me wondering how on earth did things get like this?

Just as we were impressed tourists,we were also impressive on tour. Our three (and a half) concerts each had different audiences, different natures, different strengths, and different weaknesses, but I know we pulled out our best overall sound for this tour; I'm proud of that. I felt a sliver of that spark that got me hooked on music at some time during each of our performances, and the crowd in Holy Cross Anglican Church in Soweto was easily the most fun audience I (and any of us) have ever performed for!

I am very thankful for Princeton and the family of J. Mahlon Buck Jr. ’46, whose generous gift to the Glee Club made this entire trip possible; our tour guides for leading us through a stellar experience of South Africa; all of my glee friends (glriends?) for being the incredible people you are, on- and offstage; and for Gabriel and Renata for helping us be the best singers we could be. Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrica!

Day 7: Our Last Full Day in South Africa

Yebo! My name is Stephanie Leotsakos ’16 and I am a senior in the Glee Club, meaning, this is my last tour :( I am also Student Assistant Conductor of the Glee Club this year, and I have been blessed with the opportunity to share my conducting debut with this choir and international conducting debut on tour in South Africa. I am SO thankful for the opportunity that I was given and I will keep these treasured moments at heart forever. 

I wanted to say a few words explaining this ‘treasure’ that touched me in a very special way. 

Gold, to us Westerners, is usually perceived as refined and delicate and precious—but it is distant to us. In South Africa, it is all these things and more; it is earthy. The ever present connection to nature in this county is transformative, and brings out the treasure of these people. They are the gold. 

Gold isn’t just a shimmering illusion of wealth or class, happiness or beauty, but a real and precious, grounded metal, fundamental to Mother Earth. Humankind can also relate to these precious qualities, and I felt that here in South Africa. A lot of energy, hope, and struggle seemed to breed values like gratitude, happiness, strength, and a belief in metacognition amongst the South African communities that we visited. 

As a choir, we were received in South Africa with incredible hospitality and this love was felt until the very last day. Just before our final performance in Gugulethu on Thursday night, we got a call with an invitation to perform on SABC3 national television in South Africa, on the Espresso Morning Show, at 6 AM in the morning the next day, and although sleep deprived and exhausted, most of the choir embraced the opportunity immediately, agreeing to a 5 AM wake-up call and an extended, packed day. (This meant, most of us only got about 4 1/2 hours of sleep… or at least I did.) So our long day of already scheduled seal and penguin visits, Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope visits, and group lunch and dinner, began even earlier, with very little rest in between. 

But we’re glad we did it, because the experience was incredible! In our 'Sunday best' outfits we warmed up our voices at 5:30 AM, observed the sunrise from the beautiful rooftop of the TV building, and went on national television and sang our hearts out. On set, the South African crew was ululating excitedly with bright smiles on their faces while recording us on their cell phones as well as on live TV. Again, the South African people showed us their radiant, golden spirit. And then, as Gabriel said, “We broke twitter.” The channel even created a hashtag for us: #Imfundo (meaning #’education’)! See pictures of this experience on their Facebook page. Returning to the hotel for breakfast, the doorman congratulated us, and told me he saw us on TV and thought we were incredible.

The rest of the day was spent enjoying each other’s company, the company of very cute sea lions, and the company of incredibly adorable penguins, which we could not seem to get enough of! There was so much baby-talking to penguins that I did pick up on some weird looks in our direction. We also saw some beautiful views and landscapes from Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope, the southwestern-most tip of Africa. 

By the end of the night, we had our final group dinner at a traditional pan-African restaurant called none other than: Gold. How appropriate. The food was delicious, and the performers at the restaurant danced and sang for us, getting most of us involved in the festive spirit. They even facepainted many of us. They danced with such passion—we could not believe how fit they were! I swear, it was like zumba times ten. One minute of dancing and singing with them literally left me panting, highlighting my lack of fitness. They showered us in gold pixie dust that left my glass of delicious South African Pinotage glittering, and I had to ask if it was still safe to drink. (It was.) Inevitably, after such good food and camaraderie, we wanted to perform for them in gratitude, and so up to the stage we went and sang Imfundo for the last time, unofficially, on tour. Our entertainers went nuts! Besides being showered in gold pixie dust, we were also showered in many hugs and some tears. It moved me to see Pieter up in the balcony wiping away tears. Every time we had sung the piece, I noticed he had cried.

The day did not end there. Though Pieter and Juanita told us we were heading to the hotel, we ended up back at Table Mountain, where we could observe the twinkling golden lights of beautiful Cape Town below as well as the twinkling golden lights above us. The nighttime sky in South Africa was like no other I’d ever seen. With champagne glasses prepared for each of us in that beautiful place, in that beautiful moment, we took turns making emotional toasts in a spotlight (i.e. the headlight of the bus) which outlined each speaker with a golden glow. It was a magical ending to a magical tour—an incredible experience, and an unforgettable treasure. 

South Africa, a golden country, has stolen a piece of my heart. I promise to return.

Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika. 

Day 6: Last Concert in South Africa

Part 1: Leap Maths and Science

Sawubona! My name is Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa. I am a member of the Great Class of 2014 and former Glee Club President. I am thrilled to be on this tour and to share one of many magical experiences with you.

Two days ago, while waiting for our luggage at the carousel at Cape Town Airport, I heard a woman speaking Shona, my mother tongue. i was so excited to hear somebody from Zimbabwe that I greeted her and began a conversation. This woman, Dorothy Mutambara, is an educationalist who works for LEAP Maths and Science, a six-campus school breaking the poverty-cycle by educating and nurturing emotionally, intellectually and academically excellent students from difficult backgrounds throughout South Africa.

Our time in South Africa has been a time of glorious music-making and social revelation. We visited the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg and Robben Island here in Cape Town. It is very clear that South Africa is a young nation with much ground to cover in terms of economic, emotional and mental freedom for its black-majority population. As a Southern African with much personal investment in the future of our continent I had many questions as to what steps in the positive direction could be. My serendipitous meeting with Aunty Dorothy was the beginning of an answer. 

I traveled with a group of twelve Glee Clubbers to the LEAP campus in Langa Township. The campus is for students grades 8 through 12. I went into the experience with an open heart and mind, expecting to share my experiences and of course, music. When we arrived at the campus and attended the weekly assembly called community, it was clear that we were the ones who were on the receiving end. The students shared music, dance, song and stories with us. I was in awe of the freedom, brilliance and excellence before me. The school is run by a 25 year old woman who serves as its principal. She is a graduate of the LEAP program which instills in its students a sense of agency, self-awareness, consciousness, service and family. We were led by the students, the assembly was led by the students, and all our questions were eloquently answered by the students. It was very clear that they own their positions as leaders of the community.

We sat in with the 9th graders during their Life Orientation (LO) class. It was here that we met John Gilmore, the founder of LEAP. John said, “I was born in 1959 during apartheid and I was very aware of my privileges as a white man. But because of my faith, I knew something was not right. So as I came to consciousness I had to learn and unlearn prejudices and biases I had adopted. That was my LEAP.” John spoke passionately about the school’s mission to nurture intellectual development and emotional development in its students, teachers and community. Life Orientation is a time when students and teachers sit and reflect with one another by creating a safe space with a foundation of respect and honesty shared in love. It is structured time at the beginning of the day where students and teachers deal with their emotions. Peers point out the strengths and weaknesses of their classmates and any issues (be it in the classroom or in relationships e.g. teacher-student) are talked through during that time. What I encountered today was the most emotionally advanced group of 9th graders I have ever met. The students and teachers speak of each other as family and they all LEAP together. 

I was deeply moved by the emotional maturity of these students who come from the townships and live the LEAP philosophy which says, “There is nothing wrong with you. You are powerful, you are beautiful and you are this nation’s solution.” i thought back to Princeton’s racial tension in 2015 with the rise of the Black Justice League and other student efforts to shed light on the distance Princeton has yet to cover in terms of racial understanding and true community. I hope that as a Princeton community, we will learn from these 9th graders by embracing one another in respect and love and by taking a LEAP to be intellectually and emotionally developed beings in the service of one another.

Part 2: Concert with Igugu Lekapa

This part is written by Varshini Narayanan, a soprano in the Class of 2016.

Perhaps the only predictable part of this trip has been the recurring experience of being constantly humbled. After being completely blown away by the insightfulness, maturity, and musicality of the students at the LEAP school, I assumed I had already received my daily dosage. Following our morning off, however, we traveled to Gugulethu to perform our final concert with a local church choir. We were treated to a pre-concert workshop with their director, Phumi Tsewu, with whom we continued to work on making our South African song, Imfundo, as authentic as possible -- no pressure, but performing with Ladysmith Black Mambazo next month does raise the stakes a bit! We also found out about a very exciting opportunity to make national waves soon. Stay tuned.

I've been absolutely in awe every time we've been able to listen to local choirs perform. The fullness, the depth, the power of these voices! I'll never forget their rendition of a song from Die Fliedermaus performed in the local South African language, Xhosa. There's something very special about hearing opera that rivals anything I've seen at the Met performed at a tiny community center in the middle of an impoverished rural village. It makes you rethink everything you think you know about art, knowledge, beauty. And to be quite honest, it makes us better singers - we've been able to channel the energy and passion of the singers and audiences we've met into our own music making, resulting in some of the most memorable and genuine performances I've been a part of in my four years with this group. I'm doing my best to forget how little time we have left here!

Day 5: Robben Island and Concert at St. George's Cathedral

The most wonderful and complicated aspect of tour for a lot of us is the sheer sensory and emotional overload of our packed days. Yesterday was a perfect example. The day began with a trip to Robben Island, the site of a prison known widely for its most famous prisoner, Nelson Mandela. We set out for the island at 8am, reachable by a pleasant, 45-minute ferry ride from the mainland. By this point in tour, we were well-accustomed to stunning natural beauty, but this ferry ride was our first exposure to open water, which is magnificent in its own way. Gliding along, someone would catch a glimpse of a whale or dolphin flipping and turning in the water, and we'd rush to that side of the boat to marvel at their carefree gymnastics.

Save for a few cases of sea-sickness, we reached Robben Island in high spirits -- vitamin D-fueled, beauty-stricken high spirits. And then began our tour of the former prison facilities on Robben Island. Incredibly, all tours of the prison are given by a former prisoner, a testament to their efforts to create a vivid living history. Our guide, Jama, had been incarcerated from 1977 to 1982 on terrorism charges for his involvement in the 1976 school riots. He was 19 years old at the time. Inside the prison, Jama related basic information about the prison and answered some of our questions -- mostly about his own experiences. After that, we wandered through the cells of the prison, in which displays told stories of former prisoners and carried original artifacts. In one room was displayed the original constitution and meeting minutes for the Robben Island Prisoners' Recreational & Cultural Committee, laying out the organization's aims, objectives, and more. Some of us were struck by the level of detail and care given to the mission statement of such a group, realizing that it was a natural result of confining a number of politically motivated revolutionaries or organizers -- of course they would turn their attentions and talents to whatever was at hand. 

The fourth cell in the right, Jama told us. That was Mandela's cell. That was the cell in which Mandela served 18 years of the 27-year prison sentence that came to symbolize, for many, strength and resilience. As we approached the cell, preserved in its original conditions save for a fresh paint of pale-green paint, some of us almost expected the cell to glow with the same revolutionary and inspirational aura that is evoked at any mention of Nelson Mandela. But the cell of course was ordinary, plain, its former occupant long gone. And still, the weight of the space stayed with us, expressed in the grim smiles we shared with one another, with an unusual quiet among a group normally gregarious in our affection for one another.

On the ferry ride back, eager to digest what we had seen, lobbed questions (formed and half-formed) at one another. What did it mean to make a tourist site out of a former prison? Who all was able to visit the prison and who couldn't afford to? How could we reconcile the wild, free and natural beauty encapsulated by the whales and dolphins we glimpsed, with an island literally built to cripple men into psychological submission? What did we make Jama's plain admission that he would prefer not to be working as a tour guide at Robben Island, but financial circumstances had made it a necessity for him? These are ongoing conversations. 

That evening, it was a privilege to share a concert with the Cape Town Youth Choir, who simply blew us away with their honest and moving performances of repertoire from Duruflé's "Ubi Caritas" to Traditional Xulu and Xhosa songs. Particularly moving was their rendition  of "Homeless," a Paul Simon and Joseph Shabalala piece made famous by Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo on the album Graceland. Their thoughtful pairing of solos and intricate ensembles harmonies made for a dynamic performance. At the end, it was an honor to jointly sing the South African national anthem, with ample support from an audience that rose to join us in proud song. "Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika" 

Day 4: Lions and tigers and.... more lions oh my!

Hi, my name is Paige, and I'll be writing the blog post for today! I'm a sophomore in the glee club, and I'm also the publicity chair. Today was our last day in Pilanesberg before we headed to Cape Town. We woke up at dawn (omg) and drove to the game reserve to go on a morning safari! The weather was beautiful and the animals were out and about- 5 lions crossed right in front of our truck! They were clearly excited to see us tigers. We also saw giraffes, elephants, monkeys, wildebeests, cranes, zebras, impalas, and hippos! (hippopotamuses? hippopotami...? Idk but they were chubby and cute) After the game drive was over, we went back to the hotel, had breakfast, and packed our bags to go to Cape Town! The plane ride was chill because I slept yay.

When we got to Cape Town, we went straight to Table Mountain! Table Mountain is a big mountain with a flat top and beautiful views of the city, but only if it's clear. If there are clouds surrounding the top of the mountain, South Africans say that the "tablecloth" is on. Luckily for us, when we arrived the tablecloth was nowhere in sight, and we got some great glee club pics from the top!

Then we headed back to our hotel (which is beautiful and right on the ocean!!) and were greeted with mango juice! We had a quick glee club meeting, and Gabriel talked to us about our concert tomorrow in St. George's Cathedral (did you know that he performed in the exact same venue when he was our age?!) Glee clubbers had the option to go into town for dinner, or get food from the hotel restaurant (I got pasta yum). We can't wait for our concert tomorrow!

Day 3: A Game-filled Adventure

Haai and Sawubona, my name is Jenny El-Fakir and I am the Glee Club Alumni Liaison. I am a sophomore and majoring in history! So far this tour has been amazing and eye opening. 

Today the Glee Club experienced two amazing and thought provoking places in South Africa. We started off our morning with a visit to the Apartheid Museum, in which students were randomly assigned tickets that were “white” and “non-white” and had to enter the museum through different doors and take different paths to arrive at the exhibits. The Museum told the story of the rise and fall of apartheid, showing black and white photographs and videos of speeches. We followed the zig-zagging route of the museum exhibitions from the beginnings of apartheid in 1948, to the forced removals of the 50s, to Mandela’s televised interview just before his arrest in the 60s, to the violence of the 80s, and then to the peace process and the democratization of South Africa. We not only learned a lot about the struggle for freedom and the apartheid government, but we also got to hear and see first hand accounts of what life was like under apartheid. It was a truly eye-opening experience.

After the Apartheid Museum the Glee Club set off for Pilanesberg National Park to go on a game drive. Along the way we stopped off at a small market and lunch spot where some of the Glee Club tried their hand at bargaining and negotiating in a market for the first time. Many were successful and all came away with some great gifts for their friends and family. After our delicious lunches we continued along our scenic route through the North West Province to Pilanesberg where we went on an amazing game drive. 

The Glee Club split up into four groups and drove around the game park for three hours during which we saw lions on the hunt, herds of zebra, many wildebeest, a mom and baby rhino grazing, impalas jumping and running, giraffes eating and posing for some great pictures, and some water buck. We even got to see a leopard up close. One bus got to see two leopards. Apparently the Glee Club is really lucky because it is extremely rare to see a leopard, maybe 1 every 6 months, and we saw two. We also got to see a beautiful elephant and two baby zebras playing with each other. In the end everyone saw four out of the big 5. When night fell we set off for a Braai BBQ in the game park and enjoyed sitting around the fire after dinner singing a couple of songs. 

It was a great day!!! Shap-Shap!! 

How I want to end my day.....every day. Serenity. 

How I want to end my day.....every day. Serenity. 

Day 2: A Roaring Welcome

Hi there! I'm James Brown-Kinsella, a freshman, a prospective philosophy major, and a baritone in the glee club. I'm excited to bring you the first blog post from the ground in South Africa! We're resting in Johannesburg right now, and we'll be off to Pilanesburg tomorrow!

Today started bright and early with a wake up call at 6:00 am and breakfast at 6:30. I'm very thankful for the delicious food and potent coffee that the Protea Hotel provided us; our bodies were still used to Eastern Standard Time (South Africa is +7:00 hours EST), so we needed a jump start to get ready for Johannesburg. And the city certainly had a lot to offer us!

We started off the day with a South African history lesson on the bus ride into Johannesburg. En route, our tour guide taught us a bit about South Africa's colonial past, featuring the discovery of gold in Jo-burg, the colonial conflicts which culminated in the Anglo-Boer War, and the ensuing rise, slow fall, and rebirth of Johannesburg, the country's biggest city.

Once downtown, we found our way to St. Mary's Anglican Church where we sang the liturgy of a mass. The church community received us well; they appreciated our songs, like "Agnus Dei" by Frank Martin (my personal favorite) and welcomed us to join in their hymns. The minister gave a thought-provoking sermon based on St. Paul's letter on the analogy of the church as a body, which begged us to think beyond ourselves, our friends, and our community and led us to consider ourselves as indispensable members of a linked global society: when one of us hurts, we all hurt.

On my way out of the church, I greeted the minister and told him I enjoyed his sermon, and he replied with a wry grin, "I kind of like your singing too."

From there, we delved into Soweto where we continued our history lesson. Soweto's name comes from "South Western Township," originally a large plot of land where many African people were forcibly relocated following an outbreak of the bubonic plague in a gold mining camp. The people living there started with literally nothing: no houses, no infrastructure, no help. Over time, Soweto grew to a sizable suburb of Johannesburg, home to 4 million people as of 1999 and likely many more today. Soweto is home to the largest hospital in the Southern Hemisphere, the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, and its Vilakazi Street is the only street in the world to house two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates: Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Soweto is also a hotspot for political change. As our guide said, "If Soweto sneezes, the rest of South Africa is bound to catch a cold." Hector Peterson, a thirteen year-old Sowetan, was the first casualty in an uprising to demand equal education for black students that started with a youth riot in Soweto and rippled across the country in 1973. We saw the street corner where he was shot by police forces as well as the memorial dedicated to him and to all the brave children who risked and lost their lives for the sake of their education.

In a sober pall, we walked to Holy Cross Anglican Church in Soweto where we prepared for a joint concert with two local singing groups later that evening. The jetlag, the heat, and the emotional gravity seemed to conspire to sap our energy and render us inert and empty, but over the course of the two Sowetan acts, an infectious enthusiasm spread over us, like popcorn popping slowly at first, then gaining speed and exploding vivaciously.

Any stage-fright we might have had at the beginning of our set immediately vanished after "Immortal Bach." As soon as Gabriel lowered his hands and released the suspended magic, the crowd erupted in applause. They continued cheering heartily throughout our program and particularly loved "Nelly Bly." But when we got into "I'mfundo," the song in Zulu that Bongi Duma wrote for us, the crowd really came to life. Ululations, vibrant whistling, resounding applause, and stomping feet sang back to us as we gave our triumphant finale. At the end, after making it absolutely clear that they loved our show, they demanded an encore, so we sang "N'ko si si ke le l'iAfrica," the national anthem of South Africa, with the other two choruses from the evening. And the church's leader ended the night by leading us all in "Tsho tsho loza," another traditional South African piece. There was nothing but smiles in that hall.

Given the hardship Soweto has faced, and the struggles that still remain, it's absolutely remarkable how every single person in the audience was ecstatic. It's a sort of kick in the pants to show you what you truly need to be happy. Just as when one person hurts, we all hurt; when one person smiles, we all smile.

Tomorrow we'll spend some time in the Apartheid museum to try to get a better understanding of South Africa's rich history, and then we'll board a bus to Pilanesburg, home to a big game ranch. For the next day and a half we'll explore the safari, but we won't have access to the Internet, so stay tuned for an update in a couple days when we arrive in Cape Town!

Finally landed in Johannesburg!

Hello all! My name is Zach Levine, and I'm a junior anthropology major and vice-president of the Glee Club. This post marks the beginning of our travel blog as the Glee Club spends the upcoming week in South Africa - we hope you'll check back daily and follow our travels!

Travel time has occupied the majority of the past day. Soon after we arrived in the Philadelphia airport 24 hours ago, a CBS news crew spotted our large group. They were reporting a story on snowstorm Jonas and wanted to interview the crowd of singing students in matching quarter zips.  We were filmed singing our Zulu piece I'mfundo, and then I was asked to speak with the reporter for the story (read: thankful I got a haircut a few days ago). I was prepared to answer questions about the history of the Glee Club or on our trip itinerary, but was instead peppered with questions about the storm. "Are you nervous about a potential delay?"
"Did they have to move your flight?"
"So are you nervous?"
I was then called out for referring to all the storm talk as "hype." My lack of hysterics most likely led to me being cut from the story. Keep an eye out for the upcoming CBS front pager: "Princeton Student Denies Climate Change: Refers to Storm as 'Hype.'"

Right now as I write this post, we're very close to touchdown in Johannesburg after a 4 hour delay in Atlanta (You win this round, CBS...) followed by a whopping 14 and a half hour flight. Some glee clubbers have passed the time reading, getting to know their seat mate, watching a few movies, or by sleeping for 11 hours straight (hi that would be me). Long flights can be boring, but at least they provide some quiet time to just think and rest, which can be hard to find during the year. I can hardly wait for us to wake up tomorrow to our first full day in Johannesburg.

And we're off to South Africa!

Bus 1 setting off for the airport!!!! We are officially on our way....great start to an amazing tour.

Bus 1 setting off for the airport!!!! We are officially on our way....great start to an amazing tour.

Today (Friday, January 22nd), the Glee Club will take off from Philadelphia Airport for our South African Adventure. The Glee Club will be performing a wide range of repertoire from the 16th century to our new commissioned zulu piece "Imfundo" written for us by  Sboniseni Duma. Please follow us while we are in South Africa through this tour blog. If, however, you want to follow us for real, you can find us at one of the following five performances.

Sunday, January 24th at 9:30am the Glee Club will be participating in the High Mass at St. Mary's Anglican Church in Johannesburg.

Sunday January 24th at 6:30pm the Glee Club will be performing a concert at the Holy Cross Anglican Church in Soweto.

Wednesday January 27th in the evening the Glee Club will be performing a joint concert with the Cape Town Youth Choir at St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town.

Thursday January 28th in the evening
 the Glee Club will performing in a joint concert with Igugu Lekapa at JL Zwane Presbyterian Church in Cape Town.


Commissioned piece for South Africa tour

Meet the Composer of our new song: Sbongiseni Duma

The Glee Club caught up with our new favorite composer who wrote a new song for us to sing on tour. Sbongiseni Duma is a singer, songwriter, composer, vocal arranger, actor, Zulu dancer and choreographer, and an audio engineer. He was born in Umlazi Township in Durban, South Africa and is since 2001 has been singing as an ensemble member on Broadway in "Disney's The Lion King." He was nominated last year for best music in a play (Generations) as the composer/music director.  Here is our mini interview with him:

What inspired you to pursue musical theater as a career?

From the very early age I discovered that I had a gift of composing because I used to hear these melodies in my head and would mostly be triggered anytime I hear the music only it would be something new and totally different.I therefore started to form small accapella groups and also worked with a lot of church choirs and community choirs. Because I was a traditional dancer I was quickly drawn to acting which I also found as a good platform to express emotions with music, words and dance.

How did you get involved with the Lion King on Broadway?

I auditioned for the Lion King in 2000 but then I had already been performing in the Europe with different theatre productions as an actor composer and a choreographer.I got the job while I was in the UK for a six months tour which I had to cut short and started with the Lion King in Hamburg(Germany) in 2001.

What inspired you to write the piece you wrote for the Glee Club? 

When I was approached to write for the glee club I decided to do a combination of different acapella/choral styles that you find in our South African music especially "Zulu" while learning and understanding the stylistic approach and vocal chanting dynamics in the music.

One month remaining until our tour in South Africa!

With 2016 just around the corner, excitement is building to fever-level for our biennial international tour. This season, we are fortunate enough to be venturing nearly 8,000 miles across the globe to South Africa, where we will be performing in Johannesburg, Soweto, and Cape Town. For many of the Glee Club members, this will be their first time in the southern hemisphere, and we are all super excited for all the activities we have lined for ourselves!

Some of the highlights are our open-vehicle game drive in Pilanesberg, and our visits to the famous Robben Island, Table Mountain, and Cape Point! Of course, we can’t forget about our performances, and we are grateful to be able to perform with the Cape Town Youth Choir and Igugu Lekapa. All in all, we are working very hard in rehearsals to impress the audiences in South Africa and look forward to involving you in our activities with regular updates and videos from the road, right here on our website tour blog!

See our full list of performances!