Zimbe Review


Thetford Singers set themselves a challenge tonight singing Zimbe, rather different to their last Mozart! This African music was joyful and emotional in turn with a lively beat at it’s heart. Thetford Singers were supported by children from Admirals Academy and an excellent experienced jazz band.
The opening music had echoes of the South African national anthem Nkosi sikelel iafrica. The choir mastered the languages of Africa from Shona to Swahili swaying in time to the joyful wedding song Wai bamba. They injected emotion into the Xhosa lullaby, singing quietly while the children sang beautifully in the background.
Interspersed with the songs was poetry read by Brian Robinson invoking the plains and wildlife of Africa and reminding me of the mopane trees growing in my garden in Harare. He read about spectacular sunsets before the choir sang about them. Thetford singers and the children from Admirals Academy managed to sing with great verve about weddings and respectfully when the hymn demanded it.
But Africa is all about the beat and rhythm of life superbly represented by the 4 piece jazz band, joined at times by the Musical Director, Chris Parsons, playing his trumpet. One marvellous piece was entitled Mandela and one could imagine him in his brightly coloured shirt dancing along.
So tonight’s performance was sung by two choirs confident in their music and willing to try something new, thanks to Fiona Barnett who conducted the school choir and Chris Parsons who conducts the Thetford Singers. They had the audience on their feet and joining in the rhythm at the end.
I wonder what they will perform next?
Rachel Woods