Short History of the Martin Luther Kantorei RSA
The choir was founded in 1983 under the leadership of the present conductor Pastor Mokebe Mminele. It’s beginning was a product of frustration and a dire need to help develop and promote skills and knowledge of choral music in our society. The choir inherited it’s name from the year it was founded, namely the Martin Luther year.
It is a non-denominational, multi-professional, multi-aged and distance varied choir. Of the present membership, 60% started with the choir in 1983, 90% of the members are in the teaching fraternity either active or retired. The rest of the members are located either in management or medical professions. Because choristers travel from various places, the choir can only afford to rehearse once a month.
The golden rule of this choir is determined by interest and not insight into music. Learning proper singing is continuous and this kept us together for almost seventeen years. The choir is more often referred to as the Jane Furse Choir because originally Jane Furse was the choir director’s place of residence.
The choir delights at supporting it’s members during happy and sad occasions and this has become part of our annual programme. Since it’s inception the choir has had exposure of travelling within and out of South Africa e.g. the Kingdom of Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia and Germany. The critical mission of our tours, has always been the exchange and sharing of skills in various forms of music and culture. The choir sings both African traditional and classical music and with the former, the beauty of song is expressed in the rhythm of dance and sporadic ululation which is part of our tradition.
Two secrets with the choir, is keeping media coverage to a minimum and discouraging competitive singing. The choir rather delights at choral music festivals which brings out the best of our diverse cultures and as part of our tour this year, the choir will sport an array of South African traditional attire and present more traditional songs in keeping with the spirit of the African Renaissance.
The strength of our choir ranges from 45 to 55 members on average. The range is influenced by aging and relocation of family as a result of work commitments.
The Martin Luther Kantorei will for the first time introduce it’s brass section to international audience with the presentation of cantatas and African traditional wedding songs. This will be a tribute to our supporters in