Music With An African Touch

The traditional Primary School Euro-Choir Festival took place for the 7th time at the European School Karlsruhe from 25-28 April, 2017. Children from the ESM European Hours Choir joined together with children from the European Schools Varese and Karlsruhe, to participate in a choral workshop with South African music specialist, Sidumo Nyamezele. Mr Nyamezele's energy, enthusiasm, rhythm, movements and joy of singing were contagious, and the children sang and danced their way through two days of rehearsals and concerts.

The biggest challenge was that all the festival songs were sung in native African languages and were learned without written music and performed in 3-part harmony without any accompaniment other than Mr Nyamezele's magic djembe drum. The audience couldn't sit still when he started to play and the children began to sing! Mr Nyamezele was so impressed with how quickly the children picked up the difficult sounds of the African languages. The fact that European School children are daily exposed to so many languages makes all the difference, and for them it was no problem at all.

The children travelled by train and stayed with host families. As always, the ES Karlsruhe rolled out the red carpet for its guests and made everyone feel welcome. Munich was especially warmly received by Mr Flemming Stie, our former ESM educational advisor who is now the director of the primary school and kindergarten in Karlsruhe.

We really need to thank our own director of the primary school and kindergarten, Dana Pavličíková for the experience, because she started the tradition of the GS Euro-Chorfestival in 2008 when she was serving as the deputy director in Karlsruhe. There is no better way for children to experience the 'European Dimension' than to travel to other schools and share memorable experiences with our European friends.

Long may the tradition continue!