South Africa Tour blog

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.