City's Goema Orchestra season to play works by five UCT composers

14 August 2014 | Story by Newsroom
Mandla Mlangeni, a UCT music composition graduate, will be one of six composers presenting new works during the Cape Town Goema Orchestra's sixth season. (Image supplied.)
Mandla Mlangeni, a UCT music composition graduate, will be one of six composers presenting new works during the Cape Town Goema Orchestra's sixth season. (Image supplied.)

On two Saturdays in August 2014, the 22-piece Cape Town Goema Orchestra will be performing six new works by six Cape Town composers '“ five of whom are UCT graduates.

Established in 2010 under the auspices of the Cape Town Composers' Workshop, the Cape Town Goema Orchestra is the only classical ensemble of its kind in the world, and aims to elevate the profile of homegrown orchestral talents while fostering a more representative South African oeuvre.

A quintessentially Cape Town sound, goema has been described as "a pinch of Khoisan lament, a dash of Malay spice, a bold measure of European orchestral, a splash of Xhosa spiritual, a clash of marching bands, a riff of rock, the pizazz of the Klopse, some driving primal beat, and a lot of humour and musical virtuosity".

For the orchestra's sixth season, six composers will be presenting six new works. UCT's South African College of Music features strongly, with five out of the six being UCT alumni.

Two new composers, Robert Jeffery and Tracy-Lee Engel, will debut, and will be joined by orchestra patron and founder Mac McKenzie, together with Keenan Ahrends, Maxim Starcke and Mandla Mlangeni.

Tracy-Lee Engel, a classically trained pianist, teacher and a graduate in music composition from the UCT, will present Autumn Landscape, a slow meditation on the extraordinary landscapes of the Western Cape.

Robert Jeffery '“ a composer, producer, guitarist, cellist and regular with pop outfit Macstanley, with a master's in music from UCT '“ will present Sumerian Suite. Expect hints of flamenco and West African influences.

Composer and trumpeter Mandla Mlangeni, also a UCT music composition graduate, has played with many of South Africa's greats, including Hugh Masekela and Barney Rachabane. Having just returned from a European tour, Mlangeni will be presenting his fourth new composition with the Goema Orchestra.

UCT Jazz School and Norwegian Academy of Music graduate, Keenan Ahrends returns for his third season with the orchestra to present an introspective work titled Inner Landscape.

Orchestra stalwart Maxim Starcke is a Capetonian composer, multi-instrumentalist, sound artist and educator who graduated with a master's in composition from UCT in 2012. He writes music for orchestra and ensembles and produces electro-acoustic and experimental recordings.

Mac McKenzie, self-taught composer and leader of the cult band The Genuines, and later of the Goema Captains of Cape Town, is the founder and patron of the Cape Town Goema Orchestra. He will present his composition Cape Dance Variations Part 2.

Cape Town Goema Orchestra's Sixth Season

When: Saturday 16 August 2013 and Saturday 23 August 2014 at 20h00

Where: C7 Chisholm Recital Room, at the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town

Tickets: R100 general admission, R70 for students

Bookings: or 072 500 2204

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