065 29/01/2013 From left Buhle Dube, Gloria Bosman,Motheo Lengoasa and James Ncgobo at The National School of the Arts in Braamfontein during the Festival of Fame press briefing. Picture: Giyani Baloi

Pupils from the National School of the Arts have an opportunity to appear on stage with Hugh Masekela at the school’s annual Festival of Fame.

The highly acclaimed Songs of Migration returns to Joburg after a successful international tour which included performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington and the Hackney Empire in London.

The five performances taking place at the Mandela Theatre form part of the Festival of Fame – Expressions of Heritage taking place between February 25 and March 2.

Songs of Migration, which is described as a jazz extravaganza, celebrates Masekela’s music as well as other legends like Dorothy Masuku, Joseph Tshabalala and Miriam Makeba. Award-winning director, actor and storyteller James Ngcobo has redirected the work to give NSA pupils a chance to show their musical and dancing skills. It will feature jazz songstress Gloria Bosman.

The hilltop of Braamfontein becomes a creative precinct during the festival when the NSA will extend activities from the school to Constitution Hill and the Joburg Theatre.

The NSA will see more than 40 productions including workshops, exhibitions and more than 10 art installations taking place over that week.

This will include the music department’s African Reflections, conducted and directed by Jana Barnard. It features the NSA’s 45-piece orchestra and 30-voice choir.

There is also the Dance Spectrum, which reflects various dance styles from ballet to Gillian Bonegio’s use of kwela music as inspiration for her Spanish dancing.

The NSA is South Africa’s leading arts high school, with its policy being to accept children based on talent and not their financial background. – Tonight Reporter