WATCH | 'Amazing Grace': Joburg and KZN orchestras' moving serenade to SA and its health-care workers

15 April 2020 - 16:34 By Nivashni Nair
Individual members of the Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal philharmonic orchestras joined forces for a virtual performance of 'Amazing Grace'. Stock image.
Individual members of the Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal philharmonic orchestras joined forces for a virtual performance of 'Amazing Grace'. Stock image.
Image: 123rf/viteethumb

Members of the Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal philharmonic orchestras came together in a virtual performance of the well-loved hymn, Amazing Grace, to bring comfort to South Africans during the national lockdown. 

The video, which is available on YouTube, features each musician recording their own performance at home.

CEO and artistic director of both orchestras Bongani Tembe said the musicians hoped that the tribute brought comfort and joy to thousands of South Africans who are enduring isolation, economic hardship and anxiety during the country’s national lockdown.

“Part of our responsibility as artists, particularly at a challenging time like this, is to utilise and share our talents to inspire hope and lift spirits to encourage people to know that they can face tomorrow.”

Amazing Grace was chosen because it “is very apposite in this trying time of battling Covid-19”.

“The release of this orchestral arrangement is in line with the message first expressed by President Ramaphosa who quoted Hugh Masekela’s famous song Thuma Mina as he urged all South Africans to keep faith and stay safe," said Tembe.

“The JPO and KZN orchestras' outreach gesture is in tandem with other virtual performances of the treasured concert repertoire that have been made, under similar circumstances, by orchestral players from around the world.

‘’I would like to thank our committed musicians, as their heartfelt musical tribute is also a dedication to all the health-care workers and law-enforcement agencies who are working tirelessly and sacrificing their own wellbeing to ensure that we are safe as we work together in curbing the spread of Covid-19 in the country’’ said Tembe. 


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