It may be called the Vice-Chancellor's Concert but the unscheduled appearance of VC Dr Max Price (he wasn't listed on the programme) and his saxophone at the opening show for the UCT community on 29 September shouldn't suggest he'll be occupying a regular slot at these annual concerts.
"This is very stressful," he quipped to the delighted audience as he took to the stage at the Baxter Concert Hall. "I think that last year I got away with it because it was a novelty. So after this year, it's not going to happen again!"
Every year the Vice-Chancellor's Concert showcases the rising talent at the UCT's South African College of Music (SACM), which has programmes in African music, composition, jazz, opera, Western classical music and world music.
Price's guest appearance was fitting in its own way: this is the SACM's centenary year and the programme ensured it was a tribute to South Africa's musical heritage. Price kicked off with saxophonist Basil 'Manenberg' Coetzee's composition Manenberg, a South African jazz classic, and ended with I'm confessin', a Doc Daugherty and Ellis Reynolds composition.
For the first time, the SACM featured ensembles from their brass department, including a piece on the mighty Von Beckerath organ, followed by a piano solo (Olga Rademan playing Liszt) and selection of music performed by the college's opera students, who played to critical acclaim earlier this year.After the interval, Dizu Plaatjies performed traditional African music, and the concert ended with a blast from the UCT Big Band, directed by Professor Mike Campbell and featuring special guest marimba player Bongani Sotshonondza.
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