After a few weeks of preparation, the Namib Primary School Hall was packed to the brim when the Swakopmunder Musikwoche lived up to expectations this past weekend, delivering memorable performances in Swakopmund. The concert gripped the audience with captivating stories of love, hate, jealousy, war, and victory, all told through music.
The Youth Orchestra kicked off the concert with six pieces under the direction of Hendi Krog. They performed ‘Rosamunde Overture’ by Franz Schubert, ‘March from Psalm 19’ by Benedetto Marcello, and ‘Anchors Aweigh’ by Charles Zimmermann. The Youth Orchestra also performed ‘Take Five’, a jazz standard composed by Paul Desmond. ‘Take Five’ was first performed in 1959 by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Frequently covered by various artists, ‘Take Five’ is the best-selling jazz piece ever and a Grammy Hall of Fame inductee. The orchestra also performed ‘Sunrise, Sunset’ by Jerry Bock. The ‘Seraglio Overture’, by Amadeus Mozart, was also featured. The plot concerns the attempt of the hero Belmonte, assisted by his servant Pedrillo, to rescue his beloved Constanze from the seraglio of Pasha Selim. The work premiered in July 1782 at the Vienna Burgtheater, with the composer conducting. “It was amazing to work with the children and every single one of them put so much effort into performing. I am proud of the Namibian youth who played in the orchestra to deliver this performance” said Krog.
The Mascato and Kings Choirs also sang some songs during the Saturday concert namely ‘African Sleep’, ‘!Gu Koro’, ‘Inachiche’, ‘Oh Happy Day’, ‘We are not alone’, ‘ O’Love,’ ‘Eto’ and ‘Be Still’.
Impacting lives through music
The Swakopmunder Musikwoche Chairperson, Annett Kötting said that every December the Musikwoche offers classical music a platform and gives a voice to young musicians. “Music has the power to inspire, move us and bring people together from all works of life,” she said.
Kötting added that after the COVID-19 pandemic, the event changed its format to only accommodate young Namibian musicians up to the age of 25 years. This year, 120 young musicians, most of whom come from Tsumeb, Otjikondo, Windhoek, Swakopmund and Oshikuku, took part.
A parent from Oshakati, Naita Akwenye, who had two daughters as participants, said it is fulfilling to see her children play soothing music. She said that the event is an important platform for the Namibian child to display their musical talents.
The Swakopmunder Musikwoche also allowed local lecturers to work with the young musicians. Nicole d’Oloveria, first violin lecturer, Jürgen Kries, second violin lecturer, Faustinus Nuutushi, third violin lecturer and Andreas Wedeinge on flute, said that the talent they nurture require life skills such as growth, discipline, commitment, and dedication.
d’Oloveria, who has been part on the event since the age of seven, said that every year is an amazing experience. “It is good to see the progress the children make during the week and seeing them grow is fulfilling.” Kries said that it is a privilege to come and take part in the event every year and that the event supports child development and tourism.
Nuutushi, who joined the event in 2004, shared that after only watching it on television, it fills him with pride to be part of the orchestra helping the Namibian child’s musical journey. “Music can help the child to perform well academically and socially,” he said. Wedeinge added that for him it is important that musicians get to play together as this shows unity and togetherness as Namibians.
Participants, Relindis Shigwedha, Oscar Maria, Francis Katya and Linus Leonard, said the event is something they look forward to every year. They were all in agreement that they see this as an opportunity to make new friends, connect with other Namibians, and grow their musical knowledge. On behalf of the participants, Shigwedha encouraged the Bank to keep on supporting Namibian initiatives. “Almost everywhere I go, I see what Bank Windhoek is doing for Namibians. The Bank should keep doing this for our country,” she said.
Rio !Haoseb, who is part of the organising committee said that being part of the event makes him proud and is always satisfied when everything runs smoothly during the event. !Haoseb has been part of the event for the past 13 years. As for the support, he said that since everything requires funding, the Bank’s support means a lot to the organising committee.
The Erongo Region Governor, Neville Andre-Itope and the Swakopmund Municipality’s Chief Executive Officer, Alfeus Benjamin, who were in attendance, thanked the Bank for supporting the event and encouraged it to do more of such support in the Region.
Bank Windhoek’s Strategic Communication Manager Samuel Linyondi said Bank Windhoek is delighted to have been part of yet another offering from the Swakopmunder Musikwoche. He congratulated everyone who was involved in putting this masterpiece together. “It was an amazing experience to see Namibian youth from across the country come and perform such beautiful music.”
Kötting concluded that the Swakopmunder Musikwoche brings people together who communicate in one language: music.