Chicago Children’s Choir Completes Workshop

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PHOTO FROM THE culminating performance of Chicago Children’s Choir’s four-day South African workshop, where musician Bongani Magatyana led music educators and CCC alumni in an exploration of a variety of repertoire from the Black South African choral tradition. (Photos provided by Chicago Children’s Choir)

The Chicago Children’s Choir continued its Future Music Educators Initiative with a four-day South African Workshop & Performance recently with a performance at UChicago’s Logan Center, located in Hyde Park.

The performance was led by renowned South African singer, music director, composer and theatrical producer Bongani Magatyana. The workshops and performance will support CCC’s mission to inspire and change lives through music while uniting diverse minds and creating global citizens.

Magatyana shared a diverse range of music from the Black South African choral tradition with current music educators, future music educators/current music education students, and Chicago Children’s Choir alumni. This performance included his own compositions, while teaching orally to give participants a more authentic approach to learning the complexity of this powerful repertoire. Participants experienced music hands-on through three days of rehearsals, culminating in the final performance.

At the end of a workshop, which culminated in the final performance, participants were exposed to more authentic approaches to singing and teaching traditional Black South African choral music.

Bongani Magatyana is a professional singer/music director/composer/theatrical producer living in Gugulethu Township in Cape Town, South Africa. He was born in Cape Town in a township called Old Crossroads; his father was a self-taught choir conductor in the Old Apostolic Church. Bongani’s father taught him how to read and write tonic Solfa music notation at a very young age. His folk-inspired choral compositions—popular pieces for South Africa’s major choral competitions—are sung by choirs around South Africa and internationally. He is a wonderful dancer as well as singer, and he is particularly adept at communicating the elusive rhythms of South African songs.

For more information about the Chicago Children’s Choir, visit https://ccchoir.org/about.

The Chicago Children’s Choir (Josephine Lee, President and Artistic Director) is the nation’s preeminent youth choral organization, serving 5,200 students across the city of Chicago.

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