NEW CHORAL MUSIC FOR SOUTH AFRICA

VOX Cape Town aims to promote South African choral music by performing local compositions. VOX also supports the genesis of new music to expand and invigorate the local choral repertoire. To demonstrate its commitment to contemporary South African choral music, VOX intends to commission new music from local composers on an annual basis.

The first of these commissions is “Christmas in Africa” (2017), a setting by Maike Watson of a poem written by Margaret Kollmer. This work will receive its premiere at this year’s Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in December and will also be broadcast on Fine Music Radio at 18h00 on Christmas Eve.

CHRISTMAS IN AFRICA (2017)

About Maike Watson (Music for “Christmas in Africa”)

Maike Watson (previously Gevers) is a Cape Town-based composer and performer. Throughout her childhood she played a variety of instruments from classical to jazz and rock. After completing a BSc (Mathematics) in 2009, she continued to study music and graduated with a MMus cum laude in 2013 after which she started a business working as a composer and music producer for the film, media and gaming industry. She has since worked on international feature films, pc, xbox, smartphone and tablet games as well as written and arranged music for international musicals and local groups. Her latest piano work, “Prälüd”, made its premiere at the ISCM festival in Vancouver in November 2017. In addition to her work as a freelance composer and music producer, she is currently studying composition part-time under Professor Hofmeyr at UCT.

About Margaret Kollmer (Words for “Christmas in Africa”)

Margaret Kollmer, formerly based on the East Rand and now living in Port Elizabeth, is a poet, writer, author and musician. In 1969 she won The Trutone Trophy for the best folk song at the SA Song Writing Competition which also won the LM Radio“Top of the Pops” by the late David Davies. The following year, she won Third Prize in the Instrumental Category. Subsequently, some of her poems found a place in “New South African Writing” along with Zakes Mda and Tim Couzens. An eclectic, creative and competitive writer, Margaret is a prolific winner of consumer trade contests with regard to limericks, poems, nonsense verse and satire. She also contributed to “Stoep Talk”, the humour column of one-time editor of the Johannesburg “Star”, James Clarke, for over fifteen years. She has been a poetry judge at schools and assisted in a schoolboy production of Carmina Burana. In 1997 she won a dual Second Place for poetry and fiction in the International Training in Communication contest in San Francisco.

More recently, she authored a book “To Make a Mocking Word Sing…” with a foreword by Barry Ronge and also contributed to the coffee table book “11 South African Folk Tales by 11 South African Writers” with a foreword by Gcina Mhlophe and illustrated by Reuben Matemane. In a review of Margaret’s book in the “Star” some years ago, James Clarke wrote: “I don’t know how old Margaret is. I know she is a granny but mentally there’s a young and nimble woman there. She is of Irish descent which might explain her penchant for messing about with words.”