For Immediate Release
Gospel Goes Classical South Africa Reigns Triumphant
(Dateline: September 20, 2014 Johannesburg, South Africa) It’s a dry 78 degrees in Johannesburg. The moon has set as the 64-piece Johannesburg Music Initiative Orchestra tunes up. The rhythm section settles in and the Tshwane Gospel Choir finds their places on stage. From Stage Right, the Conductor for the evening, Dr. Glenn Caldwell enters. He raises his baton to the composition “Ride On King Jesus.” Gospel Goes Classical South Africa has begun.
The Presence of the Lord was felt early on in this concert as the band and choir were preparing to perform the custom Gospel Goes Classical arrangement of Kirk Franklin’s “Hosanna.” A hailstorm hit and caused so much noise that the band couldn’t continue playing, the orchestra could not hear. After four minutes of prayer and patience, the storm subsided. The traditional Zulu belief is that when such unexpected things occur, God is preparing to bless the moment. That is exactly what God did and these are the anointed moments that made Gospel Goes Classical South Africa an unforgettable event.
This star-studded event, a seamless blending of Traditional Gospel Music, South African Folk, Contemporary Gospel and Zulu Rhythms featured Jonathan Butler, Ntokozo Mbambo, Mahalia Buchanan, First Lady and the Tshwane Gospel Choir. This was all threaded together in a unique musical tapestry under the direction of Gospel Goes Classical Creative Director, Dr. Glenn Caldwell, with the backbone of an all-star South African Rhythm Section led by Musical Director and South Africa Producer and Gospel Star, Nqubeko Mbatha.
The power and soul of Jonathan Butler blended with the unique South African vocal stylings of Ntokozo Mbambo, Mahalia Buchanan and First Lady, made this concert the event of the year. The orchestrated renditions of Zulu songs and the Gospel Goes Classical signature songs, “One Night With The King”, and “I Need You To Survive” prompted the audience to sing along for the entire event.
If that wasn’t enough, the performance of “Ke Tshepile Wenza” (I Trust You Lord) by South African multi-platinum recording artist, Benjamin Dube, brought the house down bringing the capacity crowd of 7,000+ to their feet, dancing in the aisles. The evening climaxed when all of the featured artists onstage, entering one at a time, performed the Gospel Goes Classical signature song, “I Don’t Mind Waiting.”
“This concert’s success is a testimony for what Gospel Goes Classical will do for the future of gospel music,” says Gospel Goes Classical Founder and Executive Director, Vernice Watson. “We produce shows that feature forward-thinking musicians who reinvent beloved gospel songs while staying true to God’s message. All roads lead to the encore performance of Gospel Goes Classical South Africa, and the upcoming productions of “Gospel Goes Classical London” and Gospel Goes Classical Brazil.”
On an ordinary night, an extraordinary event occurred…