25 January 2018 at 20:00

Auditorium, Centre des arts, La Grande Boissière

Doors open: 19:30
Concert: 20:00


A memorable tour by the Bochabela String Orchestra (BSO) will begin in January 2018 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. Born out of the Mangaung String Programme, a string music development programme launched in Bloemfontein in 1997 made possible by Mandela's policies of social action, who else but the Bochabela String Orchestra could have carried out this project commemorating one of the greatest statesmen and peacemakers of the 20th century.
The BSO of South Africa was inspired by the famous Soweto String Quartet, which popularised string instruments by performing traditional African songs and jazz pieces with a string quartet and a rythm section. The first explorations of African music by the BSO were to interpret traditional hymns and fight songs. As the technique of students increased, so did the orchestra's repertoire. The BSO is composed of strings, congas and shaking instruments to give rhythm to their songs. Over the years, the orchestra has been invited to play in youth orchestras and music festivals in South Africa and Europe.
The Mangaung String Programme is aimed at children from underprivileged backgrouns in various state districts. It was launched by American bassist Peter Guy and allowed South Africans from the Townships to study string instruments for the first time. Today, more than 350 students, divided by level in five orchestras, are part of the programme. The Bochabela String Orchestra is the senior orchestra, composed of high school and university-age students.