Diplomacy is Art – Rainbow Concert
2 June 2016
The first Rainbow concert was hailed a success by the Ambassador of Austria, Brigitte Öppinger-Walchshofer. She thanked fellow diplomats, the sponsors and most importantly the participants for the success and said the goal now would be to make this an annual event.
Photo: (r-l) Mr Bene M'Poko, Ambassador of the DRC and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador Brigitte Öppinger-Walchshofer of Austria, Ambassador Mauricio Escanero of Mexico, High Commissioner Kwesi Ahwoi of Ghana, Berthine van Schoor - Cellist and Musical Director and John Macgregor, spouse of the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom.
The aim of the concert is to support young musicians from townships around Johannesburg and Pretoria to acquire musical instruments so that – after the finalization of their studies – they can start to earn a living by teaching music or performing at concerts and other public and private events. The different music schools in the townships (beneficiaries) will be supplied with musical instruments that can be handed out on loan (free of charge) to these musicians who have completed their studies and had to return their instruments (e.g. to the UNISA Music Foundation). The instruments are meant as a start up and have to be returned to the music school they come from as soon as the young musician has earned enough money from his/her trade to buy an instrument himself/herself.
The concert took place on the 28th of May 2016 and was held at the Enoch Sontonga Hall, Unisa campus, Pretoria. It was an enjoyable afternoon filled with music and dance. Aspiring musicians and dancers showed off their amazing talents to an appreciative audience who filled the hall.
Participants included Ghanaian drummers and dancers; the Anavarata dance institution of Johannesburg performing classical Indian and Bollywood dances; Conwonitte Choir from Wonderboom Pretoria; Goede Primary School Marimba Band from Boksbug Jhb; TMP Jazz Band, Hammanskraal; Unisa Music Foundation String Ensemble; and the Mamelodi Brass Band.
Representing the diplomatic corps were Matthias Radosztics from Austria, Zsuzsanna Bernadett Rothschild from Hungary and John Macgregor from the United Kingdom. Radosztics on clarinet and Macgregor on piano together played Johannes Brahms: Sonata Op 120 No. 2 for Clarinet and Piano Allegro amabile (1st movement) beautifully. Zsuzsanna Bernadett Rothschild playing the violin and Macgregor, playing the cello, joined in the performance with the Unisa Music Foundation String Ensemble that is led by Berthine van Schoor.
A few other diplomats promised to brush up on their musical skills and join in the performance next year.