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Circle of Life By Ndlovu Youth Choir
Composers: Elton John & Tim Rice Arrangement: Lebo Morake
Choir: Ndlovu Youth Choir
Creative Director: Andrew Timm Editor: Adino Trapani Camera Crew: Wandile Kegakilwe, Edwin Knopf, Peter Groenewald Shooting Location: Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City Casino, Johannesburg, South Africa Digital Upload: Josh Nuttall
Choir: Ndlovu Youth Choir Artistic Director: Ralf Schmitt Choir Manager: Sandile Majola Recording Engineers: Sipho Hleza and Bruce Forbes Mastering Engineer: Bill Hare Keys: Sipho Hleza Bass: Morne Brainers Drums: Peter Djamba Guitar: Nathan Smith Orchestration: Ralf Schmitt Lead Vocals: Busisiwe Mathibela, Madoda Moshoane, Ntombenhle Galela, Thabang Sekele
Choreography: Zakhele Nkosi
Ndlovu Care Group CEO: Hugo Tempelman
Mixed at Two Keys Studio, Johannesburg, South Africa Mastered at Bill Hare Productions, Milpitas, California, USA
About the Ndlovu Youth Choir:
Can participation in a music program change the lives of even the world’s most disadvantaged children? The choristers of the Ndlovu Youth Choir are living proof that it certainly can. This vibrant youth choral ensemble chants, harmonizes, and tip-toe-taps their way through a powerful 11-language repertoire that includes a sampling of all things South Africa: from isicathamiya (is-caht-a-MEE-ya), the a cappella genre accompanied only by body percussion, made famous by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, to ancient tribal chants, contemporary gospel, Afro-pop and Afro-jazz from the repertoires of Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba, and uplifting choral music written exclusively for the choir.
Founded in 2009, this exuberant group has toured southern Africa and Europe with their multi-sensorial performances to significant critical and audience acclaim. The members are selected by audition from the young people from the Ndlovu Care Group, a community program providing healthcare, early childhood education, after-school activities, and more to rural Moutse, Limpopo, South Africa. Program directors find that, because of the time commitment of the choir, as well as the values of self-discipline, self- confidence, and leadership that participation imbues, choristers have lower rates of drug use, delinquency, and teen pregnancy than their peers.
It’s about more than just staying out of trouble, though. The choir offers an early pathway to artistic and professional achievement that is so often only available to children from affluent backgrounds, but it also offers a connection to the children’s ancestral roots and allows them to share those cultural roots with the world. It’s a profound gift in both directions, and one which the singers themselves say fills them with hope: for a better life and for a better world.