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Young South African Artists unite to create “The Ultimate South African Song Medley” to thank healthcare professionals and other essential workers.


Johannesburg, South Africa (16 April 2020) – Young South African artists have joined together, in their individual homes and via technology during #LockDown to record The Ultimate South African Song Medley, as a “THANK YOU” to all the healthcare professionals and other essential workers who are putting their lives at risk daily for the rest of us to be safe and to be able to stay home.

The Sponsors of Brave Campaign in association with Stageworx Performing Arts School, released a video of The Ultimate South African Song Medley not only to thank our “heroes who don’t wear capes”, but to uplift the nation through local music.

To quote one of the greatest heroes, Nelson Mandela, “Music is a great blessing. It has the power to elevate and liberate us. It sets people free to dream. It can unite us to sing with one voice. Such is the value of music.”

The Ultimate South African Song Medley integrates 28 of the most instantly recognisable classic South African songs from music icons across diverse genres from the last 50 years, woven into a seamless tapestry by Music Arranger, Maestro Extraordinaire, Bryan Schimmel, and performed by 50 students and alumni from Stageworx Performing Arts School in Johannesburg.

Music from Brenda Fassie to Kurt Darren, Mandoza to PJ Powers, Yvonne Chaka Chaka to The Parlotones, Miriam Makeba to Four Jacks and a Jill, Sonja Herholdt to Mafikozolo to name but a few – are all included to showcase the rich musical culture of South Africa.

Says Schimmel of the Medley, “It’s very nostalgic. It gives people that “oh-wow-I-forgot-about-that-song” feeling. It introduces the youth of today to the wealth and heritage of great South African music that was produced long before they were even born. The result is a multi-cultural and cross-generational musical celebration.”

Gemma Marinus, Director of Stageworx Performing Arts School, explains the procedure of putting this video together, “The brief was sent out to +/- 160 of our students (current and alumni) including some students that have already made a name for themselves in the Arts industry such as John Tsenoli, Phil Higgins, Yahto Kraft and Marianthe Panas.”

She continues: “Everyone jumped at the chance to be part of the project. All our students were sent harmonies and certain lead lines that they had to record at home on their cell phones, and we were sent back all the recordings. From there, Matthew Marinus mixed all the vocal recordings, and we sent back for everyone to record their videos (again on their cellphones). It was incredible to see the level of enthusiasm and talent that was sent through to us.”

Gemma concludes; “It is incredible how music and the arts is a complete leveller – it doesn’t matter if our students are from affluent or underprivileged backgrounds, when they walk into class no-one is better than the next and everyone is there for their passion. The Ultimate South African Song Medley has been a performance piece that is much loved by our Stageworx students. One thing is for sure, we will be keeping our students busy during the lockdown with already planned online classes, workshops and more exciting projects – music and the arts is the one thing that will help every South African emotionally through these challenging times ahead, and it should never be underestimated. “

Watch the video below:

Source: The Ultimate Song Medley 
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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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