Canadian youth choir live in PE

KOKOPELLI, one of Canada’s most celebrated youth choirs, performs in Port Elizabeth tonight, as part of a four-week tour of South Africa and Swaziland.

The choir is set to perform with the acclaimed Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Choir at the NMMU South Campus Auditorium.

Kokopelli artistic director, Scott Leithead said this was the choir’s third visit to Southern Africa.

“Africa has been part of Kokopelli’s musical DNA since we began 17 years ago,” Leithead enthused.

“We perform music from many cultures, but African music holds a unique place in our hearts.”

The tour marks a homecoming for 18-year-old Mxolisi Lindelani Magagula – known as “Mx” – who has been with Kokopelli on an exchange programme since January.

At the end of this tour, one Kokopelli member will remain in South Africa to spend the rest of the year with Magagula’s home choir, the acclaimed University of Pretoria Youth Choir (UPYC).

Canada’s winter weather was a bit of a shock for Magagula when he arrived there in January, but Kokopelli’s warm welcome instantly made him feel right at home.

The connection grew closer when Magagula taught the choir some of UPYC’s music with the help of director Lhente-Mari Pitout, who was in Canada in May. “I’ve seen North American and European choirs do African music,” Magagula said.

“But I’ve never seen a choir as passionate about it as Kokopelli.”

Passion is a key word when it comes to Kokopelli’s music. The choir has built a worldwide reputation for its vibrant, innovative performances.

In addition to its three African tours, the choir has entertained audiences in the US, Germany, Norway, Malaysia, Sweden and at concerts and festivals across Canada.

Kokopelli performs tonight at the South Campus Auditorium. The concert starts at 7pm and tickets are R60 for adults, R50 for pensioners (R25 for pensioners coming in a group of 10 or more) and R25 for students.

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