The angelic sounds of the Cape Town Gospel Choir will once again fill the halls of the Mother City following their absence caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Founder Colin Peckham said they had found a new home after experiencing tough times during the pandemic which caused the group to lose their rehearsal space after the church they used was forced to sell the building.
The choir, who perform all styles of gospel music – American, European, and of course, African, as well as some in the more classical and also contemporary Christian styles – are gearing up for a return and marking the achievement with a concert.
The choir is a registered NPO and was instituted at least in part as a project in racial reconciliation in South Africa. And after losing their rehearsal venue, the musical group wanted to find a location where people from more disadvantaged communities wouldn’t have trouble getting to rehearsals.
Peckham, who studied music at Edinburgh University and theology with Unisa, explained: “After the loss of our first rehearsal venue, we struggled to find one in a central location that people could reach both with the means to travel by car, and those who rely on public transport.”
The choir’s founder, who is also a published arranger, orchestrator and conductor and has worked with orchestras in South Africa and the UK, added that a number of churches in the suburbs were willing to let them use their premises for free. “But that would mean making it hard for those on the Cape Flats who relied on taxis, buses and trains to get there.”
He added that the choir’s aim was racial reconciliation and that they were determined to avoid such hurdles. “Our office manager arranged a meeting with the minister at Mowbray Presbyterian Church, and he saw immediately what we were trying to do, and they offered us space at a rate we could afford.”
And after almost three years of the choir being interrupted by Covid-related challenges as well as having to find a rehearsal space, they are now finally ready to start performing again.
“The atmosphere in rehearsals is electric. We have members from all over the city – from the Atlantic seaboard to the Cape Flats – and we’re looking for more.”
Peckham said there were still spaces available for tenors, basses and sopranos, and they would be holding auditions later this year.
“Our first event back is Sunday, November 19 (tomorrow), and we will be singing in styles from blues, gospel, traditional hymns and contemporary Christian songs. As a gospel choir, this is the wide range of styles available to us, and we’ll be enjoying it all.”
Catch the Cape Town Gospel Choir in their return concert at Protea Valley Church, Van Riebeeckshof Road (opposite the SPAR) in Bellville at 7pm.
Tickets are available at www.originsa.org and are donation-based. If you can’t afford a donation, you can call the office for a free ticket at 021 825 9903.