SHOSHOLOZA is XHOSA and means “Forwards! Onwards!”
Formerly strongly rooted in the anti-apartheid movement, with South African resistance and freedom songs in the languages of the black peoples of South Africa in its programme, the choir project SHOSHOLOZA today informs about traditions as well as historical and current developments in South Africa. Their repertoire includes songs of daily life, but also addresses problems such as AIDS and current social problems of the post-apartheid era. At concerts, the history of oppression of the non-white population of South Africa during apartheid is presented in songs and story-telling.
Since its foundation in 1989, numerous meetings, projects and workshops with artists and groups from Southern Africa have repeatedly contributed to the further musical development of the choir project as well as to the ongoing examination of historical and current socio-political issues.
Today the mixed choir is directed by Ulrike Gläser and meets fortnightly for rehearsals in the Kulturladen Huchting.
In addition to smaller performances SHOSHOLOZA will participate in Silas Edwin’s Mass Choir project. The performance about Nelson Mandela’s life will be shown in Bremen in 2021.
Interested in singing with SHOSHOLOZA?
Musical projects with Tim Günther
Tim Günther, leading church musician at the Kulturkirche St. Stephani in Bremen, was asked in 2010 to enter into an exchange with the renowned jazz and church musician Melvin Peters from Durban. From this first joint concert, “African & German – Jazz & Classics” on World AIDS Day, a fruitful cooperation developed. Besides the concerts of Günther and Peters, who play a changing programme for organ and piano, they take part in concerts with larger instrumentations, meetings with musicians, artists and politicians. In workshops at universities, schools and in socio-cultural youth institutions, a wide range of topics are dealt with, such as jazz in South Africa, music and history of the Beatles and choral music of the German Romantic period. In addition, master classes for choral conducting and singing students have been given.
Another musical exchange takes place with the musician duo Qadashi & Maqhinga. In 2019, the Durbaners were able to present their pieces of typical music from KwaZulu Natal in Bremen for the first time.
Numerous projects are still pending for the future:
- Invitation to the “MPQ – Melvin Peters Quartet” to Bremen for the official celebrations and musical exchange with the Kulturkirche St. Stephani Cooperation with the Bremer Kantorei St. Stephani
- Invitation to Bremen for Bishop Rubin Phillip and his wife Rosemary
- 2021: Choir tour of the Bremer Kantorei St. Stephani to Durban. Joint concert with the KZN Philharmonic orchestra
- Choir meetings in cooperation with the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) and other organisations
- Beatles workshop and concert with young people in the BAT-Center
- Choir concert for Heritage Day at St. Paul’s Church
Excerpt from previous concerts:
September 24, 2019, St. Paul’s Church, Durban:
170th Anniversary concert of St. Paul’s Church/Durban
A concert of classical, jazz, gospel and Zulu music with international musicians*, the St. Paul’s-Church Choir. Present were Rubin Phillip (Bishop of the Anglican Church in Natal from 1999 to 2015) and Deputy Mayor Belinda Scott, among others. In addition to the Melvin Peters-Quartet and the St. Paul’s Church Choir, the choir also included established students of the university and members of the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra. Tim Günther has been active as pianist, organist, choir accompanist and guest conductor.
20 August 2018, Kulturkirche St. Stephani Bremen
“Funun-Festival”: In this context a concert with the Syrian-Lebanese pianist Aeham Ahmad took place in the Kulturkirche. Ahmad is “who plays in the ruins”, the photo on which he plays on his piano in the city of Yarmuk amidst destroyed houses went around the world in 2015.
18 August 2018, Culture Church of St. Stephani Bremen
Madiba – 100 years: A concert in memory of Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)
Special guest: Melvin Peters/Durban (piano, organ). Cast and concept as in 2014. overall direction and concept: Tim Günther
Greetings: Dr. Carsten Sieling, Mayor and President of the Senate of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen; Edda Bosse, President of the Bremen Evangelical Church A cooperation with the Senate Chancellery of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, the Bremen Evangelical Church and the town twinning Bremen-Durban.
Release of the double CD “Mandela Tata” (recording and production of the concert of December 2014)
5 December 2014, Kulturkirche St. Stephani Bremen
Madiba – One year to the day – Concert in memory of Nelson Mandela on the 1st anniversary of his death
Special guest: Melvin Peters/Durban (piano, organ). Also: Bremer Saxen, the choir “Ensemble d’accord”, Thomas Kriszan (piano and accordion), Günter Orendi (drums), Uli Sobotta (euphonium, guitar), Ralf Stahn (double bass), Tim Günther (piano, organ, choir direction, concept).
Cooperation with Diakonia Council, BAT-Center, Philharmonic Orchestra KwaZulu Natal, Melvin Peters, Board of Directors of the street children’s charity “uMthombo“, Qadashi & Maqhinga