Ricochet News

Visual Arts, Orchestral Sounds, Rock and Choral Singing at ‘Knock on Wood’

Jul 19, 2018
Visual Arts, Orchestral Sounds, Rock and Choral Singing at ‘Knock on Wood’

Eastern Cape lovers of the Arts are in for a treat at the end of July, when the Woodridge schools will, yet again, be opening their doors for the ‘Knock on Wood Arts Fest’.

This exciting festival, taking place from 30 July to 3 August, combines the traditional Eisteddfod concept with a more general celebration of the Arts.

The 2018 Fest is of special significance, as it will be taking place on the brand new Woodridge campus, which had been rebuilt and, to large extent, redesigned, in a record time, following last year’s devastating fires.

No fewer than 35 Eastern Cape schools are participating in the ‘Eisteddfod’ part of ‘Knock on Wood 2018’, and during the day the main focus will be on the adjudication of these young artists.

A staggering 17 choirs and 7 large ensembles have entered for the festival, which promises youthful music making on a grand scale. At 14:00, on 29 July, the Choir Category will be preceded by a workshop in choral conducting by Co-Choir adjudicator Junita van Dijk.

Informal, free of charge, lunch hour concerts, in celebration of the ensemble talents of Eastern Cape schools will provide a break from the adjudication process.

School groups participating in these lunch hour concerts include the St Dominic’s Priory – marimba group, the Victoria Park, Theodor Herzl and Lawson Brown Steel Bands and a variety of contemporary Woodridge instrumental and vocal ensembles.

During the evenings the ‘Arts Fest’-idea will be extended to a journey of discovery through a variety of musical styles and artistic media: Monday evening 30 July boasts the Opening Event of the Fest, which will kick off in style with an exclusive Cocktail Function/Art Exhibition.

At the latter medallions will be awarded to the top participants in the Visual Arts and Creative Writing Categories and the new ‘Richard Cock Art Music and Drama Centre’ of Woodridge College will be inaugurated by the musical maestro himself.

After Dr Cock’s opening address, the Nelson Mandela University Choir will conclude this auspicious event with a concert, for which admission will be free of charge. This acclaimed choir has performed for Pope John Paul II, Queen Elizabeth 11, Desmond Tutu and the late Nelson Mandela.

‘Knock on Wood’ gives a nod to ‘Woodstock’ at the Rock Concert on Wednesday night, 1 August, at 19:00. The impressive line-up includes the popular Cotton Fields and a sizzling combo including James Smith (Voice and Keyboards), Rob Thompson (Lead Guitar), Timon Oosthuizen (Drums) and Dave Houghton (Bass Guitar).

The Evening Programme of the festival concludes on a high note on Thursday night, 2 August, at 18:30, when the much loved vocal group The Creed will be treating the audience to their sweet harmonies. Supporting artists at this concert include Paul Richard (saxophone), Evan Perkins (piano) and Dave Houghton (classical guitar). Multi-instrumentalist Houghton straddles a variety of musical genres.

He has performed with the Grammy Award-winning flautist Wouter Kellerman and with the SAMA-award winning saxophonist Phumlani Mtiti but considers the opportunity to share the stage with the international jazz legends Rufus Reid and Yusuf Lateef as the highlight of his musical career.

Port Elizabeth classical music lovers will remember Evan Perkins’s highly successful performance with the Nelson Mandela University Symphony Orchestra a few months ago.

Paul Richard also deserves special mention. This exceptional saxophonist, to whom the South African composer Hannes Taljaard has dedicated a number of works, was the winner of both the Epinal Music Competition in France and the Seventh national Grahamstown Music Competition.

Do not miss the ‘Knock on Wood’ opportunity to explore the many facets of the Arts in a rustic, festive environment.

The cost of the choir workshop by renowned choir leader, Junita van Dijk is R80. Further enquiries regarding this event should be directed to Eiona Rathbone (eiona.rathbone@woodridge.co.za) or Madeleine Russouw (madeleine.russouw@woodridge.co.za).

Entry fees for the Wednesday and Thursday evening concerts are R30 for adults and R20 for children and refreshments and light suppers will be available. Please take note that it will not be possible to book seats for these events. Timeous arrival, to avoid disappointment, will therefore be essential.

Image: Multi-genre a capella group, The Creed, from Port Elizabeth. The group consists of four highly talented musicians who love singing together! Between Marvin Draai, Alfred Felkers, Virgil Matrass and Andrew Kock they each bring a unique nuance to their imitable harmonies.