Some concerts are for sitting down, others not. The UCT Alumni Concert, held at the Baxter Theatre Centre on 16 May, fell emphatically into the latter category.
The night started off sedately enough, as deputy vice-chancellor Professor Thandabantu Nhlapo, who has spearheaded UCT's Afropolitan drive, explained the purpose of the concert and the role of UCT Africa Month. Together these events are designed, he said, to reflect on the university's connection to the continent, and to provide the space for the university community to celebrate their "Africanness".
And celebrate they certainly did at the concert.
Composer and pianist Mduduzi Mtshali got the ball rolling for an appreciative audience. He was soon joined by vocalist Amanda Tiffin, who also happens to be head of jazz singing at UCT. Tiffin then made way for fellow vocalist Mimi Ntenjwa, the two getting together at the end of their set for a duet. All three are all graduates of UCT's South African College of Music.
But the pace really picked up in the second half of the show. Letta Mbulu and Caiphus Semenya '“ more recent 'graduates', having received honorary doctorates from UCT in 2013 '“ took to the stage to perform some of their legendary hits such as Mme Matswale, I Need Your Love and There's Music in the Air.
It didn't take the two long to get the audience out of their seats, dancing in the aisles and singing along. They also gave young musicians a chance to shine, with a number of SACM students joining their band for the evening.
It seemed no one wanted the night to end. Semenya, particularly, tested his band's endurance, bringing to show to a close shortly after midnight.
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