Tuesday, June 19, 2012

J. S. Mzilikazi Khumalo (b. 1932), Leading South African Composer and Choral Director, Turns 80 June 20, 2012

Professor J.S. Mzilikazi Khumalo (above) is featured at AfriClassical.com as a leading South African composer who has played central roles in both South African opera and the preservation of African indigenous music through arranging folk music, teaching African languages and directing choral ensembles at the highest level of achievement.  The following is just one of numerous tributes to the contributions of J.S. Mzilikazi Khumalo to the music of South Africa and that of the whole of Africa.

The New Age
Saving African indigenous music

Sibusisiwe Tongo at the highest level 

Too little is known about South African indigenous music, according to the South African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) Foundation. Established in 1961, Samro has been investing in music education for five decades and it wants to encourage indigenous African music research among young people in the country.

Andre le Roux, Samro endowment general manager, said: “Not enough is known about South African indigenous music, as during the apartheid years our indigenous music did not get sufficient academic focus.  “If we do not research or support the research of the music traditions, of the songs, the composers, our legacy and heritage, they may be lost for future generations.”

He said indigenous African music research was established because of a need identified by the esteemed Prof Mzilikazi Khumalo, who noted the lack of research in the field. The Samro Foundation is to give serious focus to organisations’ investment in the arts, with specific attention to music development. 
The foundation has been supporting music education through NGO music schools, music education projects, funding at tertiary level and overseas study at the height of the pyramid.  Le Roux said: “The standard of music in South Africa is very high in classical music. Many of the top international soloists and performances go on to achieve in overseas competitions and perform internationally.”  

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