On Thursday, 18 May, the Concordia University Chicago Wind Symphony performed at the Old Siyathemba Girls School Hall in Dirkiesdorp (Mabola).
The Concordia University Chicago is a Lutheran university that travelled South Africa in celebration of their Reformation 500. The Reformation celebrates the day that Dr Martin Luther started the Lutheran Church in 1517 – 500 years ago.
With the theme “Grace for all Nations” the wind symphony commemorates the Dr Martin Luther’s favorite Bible verse, Ephesians 2:8, “For it is by grace you have been saved; through faith and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God”.
The Wind Symphony, under the conduction of Dr Richard R. Fischer, performed only a selection of their repertoire, as this was not one of their official performances. The pieces performed were: ‘African Harmony (Songs from Mama Africa)’ by Johan de Meij, ‘Blue Shades’ by Frank Ticheli, an arrangement of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s ‘Phantom of the Opera’ by Johan de Meij, ‘Big Band Signatures’ arranged by John Higgins, ‘Stars and Stripes’ forever by John Phillip Sousa and ‘Amazing Grace’ by William Himes.
The students from Sinethemba Boarding School also performed a traditional dance for the American visitors. The Wind Symphony aimed to use their music to touch people with their message of Grace. Before the performance in Mkhondo, the Wind Symphony also performed in Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg and Vryheid. They also performed in Pretoria after their visit here.
Everyone who attended the performance enjoyed it very much. Pastor Biyela from the Lutheran Church said that he felt a revival during the performance. The Reformation 500 celebrations will continue throughout the year, with the main celebrations set to take place in October. Final arrangements have not yet been finalised.