Cantamus Music Festival 2017

BY Loren Campbell

The Riebeek College Senior Choir participated in the Cantamus Music Festival 2017 that took place in George and placed 2nd in their category.
The choir departed on Thursday, 10 August at 08:00 and began a 5-hour bus journey to the Wilderness Beach Hotel. Later that evening, all of the choirs that were competing took part in a friendship concert, in which each choir performed one song. Riebeek performed a song from their African sequence, titled Modimo and was the only choir to receive a standing ovation. The friendship concert created a songful, harmonious atmosphere among the choirs and left no space for negativity or poor sportsmanship. It was a reflection of the name of the festival, Cantamus, which means “We sing among friends” in Latin.
The choir had a couple of rehearsals on Friday in preparation for the competition that would take place the following day. They also had a trip to Harold’s Bay planned, but it had to be cancelled due to rain. The choir girls had no complaints though, because they got extra relaxation time at the hotel. Later that evening, they would participate in another concert for the choirs, but this time the concert would be open to the public. The choir once again put on a wonderful performance, this time singing songs titled Tundra and My Friend. It was clear that the Riebeek choir had some tough competitors, but they were very satisfied with their performance and were growing excited for the competition.
Competition day had arrived on Saturday. The Riebeek choir competed in the category of all girls’ and all boys’ choirs. They performed the songs Tundra, Hold My Hand, and ended off with their showstopping African sequence which included a gumboot dance routine. Miss Mintoor, the conductor, remarked that “the girls put their best foot forward and put on stunning performance.” The judges also had good things to say, with one of them commenting that their performance was “exciting and vibrant”. The Riebeek choir ended up in 2nd place in their category. There is always room for improvement, but overall, the choir and Miss Mintoor were very happy with the results. The choir also received good comments on their discipline and sportsmanship.
The prize-giving ceremony was followed by the Verbroedings Party, during which all of the choristers were encouraged to mingle.
The choir departed from George on Sunday morning with good memories and having made some new friends from around the country. Kirsten Manasse in grade 8, a new member of the choir, said that the trip was “enjoyable and exciting”. Chulumanco Mayi, Head of Choir Committee 2018, had the following to say: “I’m most content as I find the trip was satisfying, but exhausting”. When Miss Mintoor was asked about the George trip, she immediately thought of the words of Anne Lamott, which read “Then the singing enveloped me. It was furry and resonant, coming from everyone’s very heart. There was no sense of performance or judgement, only that the music was breath and food.” Miss Mintoor jokingly added that “there are two kinds of people in this world and being a choir member is better than both of them”.
Thanks are owed to the following people for making the trip a success: Miss Cathy-Jane Mintoor (conductor), Tarryn Mintoor (accompanist), Wiseman (bus driver), as well as Mrs Stear, Mrs Snyman, Mrs Mapoma and Mrs Elie for joining the choir and supervising throughout the trip.

 August 14, 2017
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Loren Campbell

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