New children’s choir rehearses digitally

The Cape Town Childrens Choir at the Beau Soleil Music Centre in Kenilworth in February after their rehearsal session.

Covid-19 hasn’t stopped a new Kenilworth-based children’s choir from finding its voice.

Members of the newly formed Cape Town Children’s Choir have found a way to rehearse and keep in touch despite the restrictions of lockdown.

The choir, which is affiliated with the Beau Soleil Music Centre non-profit in Kenilworth, held its first rehearsals in February, with 28 girls and boys between the ages of 9 and 15, following auditions last November and early this year.

The choir members come from Rondebosch, Observatory, Plumstead, Kenilworth, Claremont, Constantia, Pinelands, Bergvliet, Lakeside, Gugulethu, Wynberg, Southfield, Crawford, Parow and Goodwood.

During lockdown, they have used Zoom to rehearse.

Choir director Bronwen Leith, accompanist Anne Meyer and choir secretary Helen Stabrey are founding members of the choir.

“The plans we had for the year had to be cancelled as we’re not able to hold normal rehearsals, do concerts or go on tour,” Ms Leith said, adding that Zoom had helped hold the fledgling choir together at a critical time.

“Although online rehearsals will never be the same as being together in-person, it has enabled us to keep building on what was started before lockdown and to keep the momentum going.”

Jemma Thomson, of Kenilworth, attends Springfield Convent School and said it was lovely to sing with such talented children and hear their beautiful voices.

“Zoom choir rehearsals work better than I expected them to though I miss seeing and hearing everyone else.”

Lathitha Msongelwa, of Gugulethu, said: “We miss seeing each other, though the Zoom platform has been a beautiful experience.”

Thomas Maqanda, of Plumstead, said he enjoyed using his voice to make people happy.

“I have loved to sing since I was a baby, and I make up songs when I sing in the shower and when I’m playing in the garden.”

Erwin Coetzee, of Southfield, said: “I am also very happy to receive the guidance from our music director, as she is very qualified to instil the qualities in me for my future in music.”

Ms Leith said the choir had been started to give children from diverse communities all over Cape Town the chance to be part of a top-notch choral programme, one in which they could make new friends and grow as musicians.

Ms Leith hopes to see the choir grow from 28 to 80 members, and she said their first project would be to record a virtual performance.

Applications are currently open for new applicants to audition and join the choir.

Anyone between the ages of 9 and 15 can email choir secretary, Helen Stabrey, at ctcchoir@beausoleil.org.za for more information.