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GRAHAMSTOWN – Grahamstown will reinforce its reputation as ‘the City that sings’ this weekend as the fourth annual Masicule concert, presented by the National Arts Festival, takes to the stage.

“We started this project in 2014 with support from the European Union under our ‘Creative City’ banner,” Festival CEO Tony Lankester said. “It has now become an annual tradition that helps bring Grahamstown together, and lets some amazing creative talent shine on our stages outside of the traditional Festival period.”

Fourteen choirs, a resident Masicule orchestra and guest artist Asanda Mqiki have been working hard to prepare the 90-minute spectacle, which will combine small ensemble performances and a few massed choir songs.

“The centerpiece will be sections of Handel’s Messiah, around which we’ve packed a number of works that will showcase the talents, diversity and breathtaking talent of our local choirs,” co-Musical Director Priscilla Glover said. She and her counterpart, Access Music Project’s Gareth Walwyn, have been working with singers from city schools Graeme College, Kingswood College, St Andrew’s College, Victoria Girls High School, Nombulelo High School, Ntsika Secondary School, Kutliso Daniels High School and Nathaniel Nyaluza High School. Those choirs will be joined by smaller ensembles and adult choirs Signature Sound, Abancedisi and Sakhuluntu Adult Choirs, Vox, Pro Carmine and Leopard’s Voice.The concert has the support and expertise of the National Arts Festival’s production team behind it, ensuring that the singers and musicians are given the best possible platform for their performance. “We’ve bought in some great lighting designers and the best sound team we could find. That, together with a freshly built set on the magnificent Guy Butler Theatre stage add up to a wonderful production,” Lankester said. Keeping the show moving forward will be the MCs for the evening, popular local artists Sisonke Yafele and Ayanda Nondlwana.

Masicule will be staged on Sunday 19 March at 4pm, and repeated on Monday 20 March at 7:30pm. Tickets – at R40 for adults and R20 for learners, pensioners and students – will be sold at the door or, ahead of time, from Makana Tourism Office; Access Music (Ext.6 Joza Hub); Fusion (Pepper Grove); and the National Arts Festival Office (Monument).

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