Wits Lunch Hour Concert
Written by: Tamara Arden
The University of the Witwatersrand, together with Wits Music and Wits Theatre deliver a lunch time concert once a week during the student’s lunch breaks. This free public concert provides Wits music students with an opportunity to showcase their skills and develop as professional musicians in front of a live audience.
They are given the platform to share their progress and skills in an environment that is less intimidating in specialized spaces. This past week saw Hlumelo Ldwabo (BMus III) on vocals, Joshua Turnbull (BMus II) on saxophone, Siphephelo Ndlovu (BMus III) on piano, Nhlanhla Mgqaqu (BMus III) on bass and Max Liebenberg (BMus II) on drums.
They performed 6 songs in this specific lunch hour. Sometimes the programme lasts 45 minutes; other times it goes up to an hour.
They began with a track called ‘A day in the life of a fool’ by Luiz Bonfa. This bossa nova was one of the first of its kind to gain international popularity. It appeared in various films, such as the 1959 Portuguese language film Orfeu Negro, which inspire the set of lyrics the vocalist, chose to sing with the tune.
This was followed by a song called ‘Tea for Two’, a track that caught the ear of jazz musicians such as Art Tatum, Thelonius Monk and Anita O’Day. The arrangement done in the performance was done by Canadian vocalist Angela Galuppo who added the bass riff that gives the song a different fell than the cha-cha style the song is typically played in.
‘Times on our side’ was up next. Written by Tutu Puoane, a South African singer based in Belgium, whose compositions and singing style Hlumelo admires.
Even in its amateur rendition, the band was on form and came together for a great arrangement that urged the audience to applause. This too occurred when drummer Max did a solo towards the end of the show. The jazz element was evident and their training is efficient. It is exciting to watch students on their way to making careers out of their music.
Wits lunch hour concerts happen every Wednesday at the Wits Great Hall at the East Campus from 1.15pm to 1.50pm.
If you are around the area, make your way to the area to listen to what the youth are up to.