Friends all Over the World

Through our beautiful music, the Eastern Cape Children's Choir continues to make friends from all over the world.

Kathedraljugendchoir Trier, Germany
A quick visit and an outstanding concert by this exceptional youth choir. It was wonderful for our choristers to be in the company of such good role models. We hope to see them in 2018!

Camerata Academica Orchestra, Freiburg, Germany 
This was possibly one of the ECCC's highlights of all times. We had a very short, but exceptionally rewarding concert with them in our beautiful Feathermarket Centre. The concert ALMOST did not happen as the stage lights were faulty, but the day was saved and much joy was spread. We will forever remember our chorister's faces as they were showered with gifts and allowed to try out the various instruments.

Iuventus Gaude, Jablonec, Czech Republic
The last stop of the 2015 tour was in this town close to the German border. It was a crazy busy weekend and the weather did not quite play its part, but we thoroughly enjoyed being part of their 40th anniversary celebrations and meeting the other visiting choir from Latvia. The children could not be torn away from the farewell party and we came home with wonderful impressions. We look forward to returning their awesome hospitality in 2018.

Motýli Šumperk, Czech Republic 
More ventures into the Czech countryside and two WONDERFUL concerts! We visited a hydroelectric scheme at the top of a local mountain where we encountered snow! We had to walk all the way down the mountain to the choir's summer camp site (oh, we'd give our eye teeth for such facilities) and a hearty lunch. Don't forget the Trubicka!

Kantilena, Brno, Czech Republic 
It was a wonderful experience to see this beautiful part of the Czech Republic's countryside. We had a wonderful, well-attended concert with Kantilena and experienced Trdelnik for the first time. Yummy!

Prague Philharmonic Children's Choir
We were hardly back from our own tour in 2012, when this outstanding choir from the Czech Republic descended upon us. Their concert in the St Mary's Church in Central, is one that will be remembered for a long time. During October 2015 we had the privilege of spending three days in Prague as their guests. It goes without saying that we are in love with the city and wish we had three times the time to explore!

Kinderchor der Stadt Halle, Halle, Germany 
The Halle Children's Choir hosted us in 2002, visited Port Elizabeth in 2005 and invited us back in 2006, when they also arranged our visits to, and concerts at, Liberec and Prague in the Czech Republic, as well as Dresden in Germany.

Over the weekend of the 17th of May 2008, the German visitors graced us again with a visit and wonderful performance. It was wonderful to see old friends meet again and also to hear about new friends made. We hope to see them again soon! 

We visited Halle again in 2012 and AGAIN in 2015. What can we say - we love our old friends!

Landesjugendchor Saar, Germany
We look forward to welcoming this youth choir from the Saarland in Germany. Our 2010 choristers will remember that we visited two towns in that region during our tour, namely Schmelz and Neunkirchen. We will have a combined concert with them, the Stellenbosch University Chamber Choir, and the NMMU Choir.

Mädchenchor Hamburg, Germany
The 2014 choir year had barely started when we received the beautiful girls from the harbour city in the north of Germany. We had a wonderful two days with them, including a shared concert in the St Mary's Church. I
n turn we spent the first weekend of our 2015 tour recovering from our jetlag and experiencing a wonderful concert with them. They arranged for us to attend Sunday morning mass at a local Anglican Church, where the priest blessed each and every child.

Los Angeles Children's Chorus
The LACC made a quick stopover at Port Elizabeth on their way to the Grahamstown Arts Festival in July 2012. The two choirs will spent the afternoon doing a workshop and learning from each other. The Americans LOVED our malva pudding!

Vox Aurea Children's Choir and Ruamjai Youth Choir, Jyväskylä, Finland
These choirs showed us that all Fins are NOT quiet! We insisted that Ruamjai visited Port Elizabeth during their planned South African tour for October 2009 and really enjoyed getting to know them better and, of course, their wonderful polished performance!  

In March 2012 the Vox Aurea Children's Choir visited Port Elizabeth. Apart from enjoying PERFECT beach weather and having close encounters with the elephants at Kwantu Game Reserve, they presented a brilliant performance to a very appreciative audience and also enjoyed learning a medley of traditional African music under Akhona's capable guidance.

Jannie Moolman
On the 29th of October 2011 the ECCC invaded Jeffreys Bay for a concert with the famous South African tenor, Jannie Moolman. We really enjoyed his music AND his sense of humour!

Zürich Youth Symphony Orchestra
Our new friends from Switzerland really impressed on Sunday, 16 October 2011, when they performed at the Feathermarket Centre. As an extra bonus, we sang Mozart's Laudate Dominum (KV339) and The Sandman and Evening Prayer from Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel und Gretel, with Liske as soloist and orchestral accompaniment. The conductor and management of the orchestra were so impressed by us that they invited us to visit them in 2012. Wow!

During the 2010 tour to Germany, France and Switzerland (our 10th international concert tour) we met the most wonderful people. These included:

The Villinger Klosterspatzen, Villingen, Germany
What a great start to a tour! They allowed us to sleep late and get over the travel exhaustion before throwing us into the deep end with three performances in four hours! First an informal concert at an outdoor garden show (in beautiful autumn weather) with a most appreciative audience, followed by participation in a Sunday evening mass at the Catholic Church in Schwenningen, followed by a concert in the same church. Phew, talk about boots and all! Many of our new friends also travelled to Bülach and Donaueschingen to see us perform a second, and even third, time!

Südpfalzlerchen Children's Choir, Herxheim, Germany
This children's choir is famous for their performance of musicals and provided a thoroughly entertaining performance during the Three Choir Concert (shared between the ECCC, Ruamjai Youth Choir and themselves).

In September 2010 we visited them in Herxheim, arriving on Mr Van Zyl and chorister Adriaan Vorster's birthday- one they will not easily forget. We were made to feel SO welcome and will also not forget their famous chocolate sweetie pies very soon!

Members of the congregation of the St Marien Church, Schmelz, Germany

This was such a special concert and visit. The church is quite modern (officially taken into use in the early 1930's), but has wonderful accoustics and an even better audience. They just would not stop clapping! We are hoping to see their choir in Port Elizabeth in the near future.

The Church Choir of St Joseph and St John, Neunkirchen, Germany

Here we participated in the Sunday morning Mass where the delightful priest (who also hosted a bunch of kids) insisted that we open the proceedings, not with a Kyrie, but with a traditional African song. The warmth from the priest and congregation really allowed our children to give of their best and the evening's concert was extremely well attended and received.

The Jugendchor Donaueschingen, Donaueschingen, Germany

What an evening! I hope the plans for their visit in 2012 are well underway!

The Music Academy in Cluses, France

They managed to make our concert extra special by providing an instrumental ensemble with whom we could sing a number of our works.

The St Laurentius Choir, Bülach, Switzerland

By far the 'prettiest' church we sang in on this tour. Here everybody came to know about fondue and ate until they thought they would burst! A number of South Africans attended our concert and, during the reception afterwards, we spontaneously launched into our repertoire of South African music for a concert after the concert!

The following choirs and artists have become our friends since 2006:

Melissa Venema
In July 2009 we shared a concert with this 14-year old trumpet playing "wunderkind" from the Netherlands. Melissa astounded us with her clear sound, perfect intonation and seemingly endless breath! What an inspiration it was for our members to see what hard work and dedication can achieve!

Würzburg Cathedral Choirs, Würzburg, Germany 
We first met the chaps from Würzburg when they visited Port Elizabeth in August of 2005, when they also invited us to visit them during our concert tour of 2006. We had two performances in their beautiful city. One in the majestic St Kilian's Dom during Sunday Morning Mass and the second, a full length concert, in the Neumünster Cathedral.

It was during this visit that we invited their director, Martin Berger, to Port Elizabeth for master classes during August 2007.

In 2008 the Würzburger Mädchen Kantorei (the cathedral's girls' choir) visited Port Elizabeth and the two choirs combined to perform the first of two Two Continents Concerts. During the concert, the choirs performed, as a mass choir, two major choral works, under the direction of Prof. Martin Berger.. The concert was repeated, to a 15 minute standing ovation, at the beginning of the ECCC's 9th international concert tour and as the last of the Würzburg Cathedral Summer Series Concerts on the 17th of September 2008.  

The 2008 contact also resulted in the Würzburger Mädchenkantorei offering to fully sponsor one child from an indigent background for five years.

The relationship continues. Mr Van Zyl visited Würzburg during June/July 2009, where he assisted with choir rehearsals, acted as guest lecturer and conducted works at the prestigious annual Mozart Festival. As a direct result of the contact between the two choirs, contacts were also established between Prof Berger and the University of Stellenbosch. This relationship resulted in another visit to South Africa by him, this time in February 2010, to conduct the St John Passion by J.S. Bach, played on original Baroque instruments, brought in from Germany for the occasion.


Vaskivuori Chamber Choir, Vantaa, Finland
During their visit in November 2006 they invited us to conduct our next concert tour in Finland and Estonia as their guests. And the rest is history, as they say! We had a really brilliant visit to Helsinki and Vantaa!
 

During our 9th international tour from 14 September to 2 October 2008, we met the following choirs for the first time: Estonian TV Choirs The Estonian TV Choirs hosted us for FIVE nights in their capitol Tallinn and we had a number of wonderful performances there, as well as in the towns of Pärnu and Kuressaarre, as well as a live television performance! Of course we had to return the favour and in March 2009 the Estonian TV Children's Choir visited us during their first tour of South Africa. It was wonderful to strengthen existing friendships and establish new ones and the Estonian folksong, Ükst teist peab hoidma will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

Pirkanpojat Choir and Sympaatti Youth Choir, Tampere, Finland were the last hosts of our 2008 choir tour. Although we had a short stay there, they made sure we saw as much of their beautiful city as is humanly possible and also ensured that we made sure not pocket money went home unspent!

 

Mainzer Domchor, Mainz, Germany  
Mainz was our first stop during our 2006 tour and we were absolutely awestruck by the sheer majestic size of the Mainz Cathedral and its wonderful accoustics.


Severacek Children's Choir of Liberec, Czech Republic and Prazska Kantilena Girls' Choir, Prague, Czech Republic 
We were quite apprehensive about the language divide before our visit to the Czech Republic and not at all prepared for the friendliness and hospitality of our Czech hosts! We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this beautiful country and had two wonderful concerts. 

Brigham Young University Singers

And closer to home:

Tygerberg Children's Choir, Cape Town, South Africa
We have invited our famous friends to join us in concert in September as part of our 25 year celebrations.

The South Cape Children's Choir, George, South Africa
We experienced the true South African hospitality of the SCCC in September 2005, as part of our Garden Route Tour. At the end of May 2008 we briefly hosted them for the ATKV competition where they gave a sterling performance.

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