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WAU’s Music Groups Inspire on Fifth South African Tour

Story by WAU Communication Department
Published 9/5/12

On their fifth visit to South Africa, partly sponsored by ADRA, Washington Adventist University’s (WAU) Collegiate Chorale and New England Youth Ensemble (NEYE) performed 16 major concerts in three weeks. The groups previously toured South Africa in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2005.
Students from the Takoma Park, Md.-campus performed at four cathedrals and four universities all over the country. “It was a really great experience,” said Ramone Griffith, senior religion and music major. “The concerts were well attended, but getting to interact with the people was one of my favorite parts of this tour.”
The Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Reverend Thabo Makguba and his wife attended the concert at St. Georges’ Cathedral in Cape Town, a major center of the resistance to apartheid.
In addition to the concerts, the groups participated in worship services in several churches and schools and interacted with a wide cross section of South African society. Concerts were given at the all-black Good Hope Seventh-day Adventist School in Cape Town. “No one ever comes to visit us with something like this!” was the heartfelt expression of gratitude from the school’s principal.
Another poignant performance was at the Maluti Adventist Hospital in Lesotho, a favorite of the late Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse, NEYE founder and artistic director. Flutist Juliana Baioni continued Rittenhouse’s tradition of giving to the children, and presented blankets to the hospital crocheted by members of the Spencerville church in Silver Spring, Md.
The tour ended with a two-day safari in Krueger National Park, one of the largest game reserves in Africa.

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