Concert Review: Boite Millennium Chorus 'One Africa' - Hamer Hall, Melbourne (30.08.15)

When I first heard about a choir that boasted 300 people, I immediately knew that I had to see this spectacle myself. The Boite Millennium Chorus is comprised of singing enthusiasts from all over Victoria who gather every August for a grand concert at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall. The theme for this year was a celebration of African Music titled ‘One Africa’. The choir had teamed up with an array of African musicians, singers, and dancers to put on what would be an incredible performance.

Upon entering the hall, patrons were greeted by a wall of singers looming high on the stage. Their sheer mass was impressive enough. The lights dimmed and the audience settled as an African dancer dressed in traditional garb threw himself around the stage. The percussionists began and the whole ensemble roared into action. The choir stood and their first note literally sent shivers up my arm. There is something so beautiful about a huge group of people all singing in unison. Lamine Sonko the artistic director showcased his musical talents on stage. Not only is he an extremely talented musician but also an incredible singer and dancer. In fact, every single musician on that stage was extremely talented and played a multitude of instruments throughout.

A special shout out goes to Andrea Khoza, the Choir Director extraordinaire. She was calm and collected throughout the whole performance, which is no mean feat when conducting 300 singers. Emmy Award winner Jimmy Mulovhedzi made an appearance and captivated the audience with his soulful singing. Kumar Shome was another standout musician with his rhythmic guitar playing, and the Burundian drumming group of Victoria were positively mind blowing. It’s great to see such a talented group of people all on stage together celebrating their obvious passion for music. The audience was lucky enough to witness true African Music, and be exposed to African tradition from musicians that have such a beautifully rich cultural background.

I thoroughly enjoyed the entire performance from the beginning to the end. As the final song was played everyone was up on their feet singing and dancing and enjoying the jubilant atmosphere. The children down the front of the choir were comedic to watch as they tired of the long time on stage. Audience members were cheering for their relatives, as the onstage performers were cheering for each other. It really was an incredibly uplifting atmosphere, and the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I will await next year's performance with keen anticipation, and look forward to watching Lamine Sonko’s blossoming career.

For more info click the following links: