At the beginning of March 2014, Santa Barbara Music Publishers, based in Ohio in the USA, published ‘Indodana’, an isiXhosa song which had been arranged by Michael Barrett and Ralf Schmitt. With this publication the work and the recording will be available internationally. ‘It is any composer’s dream to have his work recognized on an international level,’ said Mr Barrett, who has been leading the Tuks Camerata choir for almost a year.
Tuks Camerata features as the recorded choir of ‘Indodana’ (‘The son of our Lord God was crucified’), a dramatic traditional song in which treble voices carry the melody and the male voices provide the harmonic underlay. Both composers Barrett and Schmitt, ex-pupils of the Drakensberg Boys Choir, are experts in ethnomusicology, and this highly regarded production’s ethnic flavour has been described as palpable. Mr Schmitt is also an alumnus of UP.
Barrett was a member of Tuks Camerata for most of his student career and was appointed assistant conductor in 2004. He has served as adjudicator for choir competitions nationally and internationally and regularly presents workshops on choral music and pedagogy. He is currently enrolled as a doctoral student in choral performance at UP and is the musical director of the University of Pretoria Jacaranda Children’s Choir and The Chamber Singers, an adult choir that he founded in 2012.
Tuks Camerata, which was started in 1968, has had a star-studded March: the choir performed at the KykNet Fiëstas Awards Ceremony at the State Theatre in Pretoria where they shared the stage with other South African music stars. They also appeared on Morning Live, the SABC2 breakfast show, when they were interviewed by well-known presenter Leanne Manas.
Go to http://www.sbmp.com/SR2.php?CatalogNumber=1177
to see and hear ‘Indodana’.