Young talent takes centre stage

Leading by example … This is also possible with recorders, as South African Apostles and Bishops recently proved. And that was only the prelude to the Year of the Child, during which this woodwind instrument will hit the big time.

Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider gets to hear many concerts over the course of a year. But what he heard and saw at the beginning of December at the University of South Africa (UNISA) in Pretoria was indeed a first: about 30 Apostles and Bishops stepped on stage and played a piece on recorders. The audience went wild.

There are reasons for this performance: it is the Year of the Child, which the New Apostolic Church Southern Africa has proclaimed for 2019. And that means the recorder is kind of a constant companion—at the next event, for instance, in a divine service for children with the Chief Apostle and right up to the grand finale on Friendship Day.

An initial spark to promote talent

What, the recorder? What many serious musicians frown upon, in South Africa it has become an integral part of a successful way to discover and promote young musical talent. Whether singer, instrumentalist, or conductor: there is hardly a professional musician from the ranks of the New Apostolic Church Southern Africa who did not learn his or her first notes on the recorder.

This time the New Apostolic Church Southern African is going a bit further and is using its strengths in music education as a means of drawing people’s attention to the Church and interesting in the New Apostolic faith—based loosely on the successful formula: “Opening the church doors”. Twenty thousand recorders have been purchased for this, correspondent Kenny Kotze says.

Learning together, playing together

The recorders will celebrate their debut at the beginning of September this year. This is when Friendship Day traditionally takes place. Members of the Church typically invite their acquaintances, friends, and colleagues to a social activity on the Saturday—typically a trip into nature followed by a braai—and then on Sunday to church in their own congregation.

The special thing this time: children will invite children, and not only to the divine service, but also to make music together. The invitations were extended already in the past year because the recorder project on Friendship Day involves a joint learning process: video lessons are given on the Church’s own TV channel, NACTV, and the e-learning videos are also available on Youtube.

Unison across the country

The children will be able to show off what they have learned when the Chief Apostle is in the country again. On 11 May 2019 he will conduct a divine service for children in Cape Town, which will be transmitted throughout the District Church.

During the service, the children will perform a special recorder piece. And not only in Cape Town, but simultaneously in all connected congregations. The estimated number of participants for this performance is 60,000.

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Andreas Rother
concert, Music