Overstrand Arts/Kunste (OAK) is pleased to present the first live concert since the Covid-19 lockdown started in March. After nine months of stress, uncertainty and confusing restrictions, the country is steadily opening up and the first live classical concert this summer will be performed at the Hermanus Dutch Reformed Church on Sunday afternoon, 13 December.

Samantha Durrant
Axolile Hoza

OAK has a 12-year-long history of staging excellent classical music recitals in Hermanus, often in the face of severe financial constraints. 2020 has proven to be exceptionally challenging for this home-grown music society. The restriction to stage live concerts not only deprived music lovers of enjoying the monthly recitals by renowned artists from around the world – it also hugely battered OAK’s finances.

Louna Stofberg
Organ and Piano

As lockdown began, OAK’s committee was unexpectedly diminished to five members, who were unconditionally determined that Covid-19 would not break down 12 years of hard work. This core committee, with newly elected chairman Pieter van Aswegen at the helm, started brainstorming earnestly. The performing arts and artists suffered a massive blow and had to be rescued.

On Sunday 24 May, through the initiative of pianist Nina Schumann, OAK partnered with Concerts Connect to offer their members the first of a series of virtual concerts. These online concerts presented music societies countrywide with a lifeline to survive and, as a result of this partnership, a number of high-quality virtual concerts by top-class performers were offered throughout the lockdown period to OAK members and friends. Modern technology had come to the rescue and Zoom meetings became routine. OAK managed to stay afloat.

Cantare Ensemble
Luvo Maranti

Now OAK has taken the plunge by staging its first live concert again, in order to reintroduce live music back into the community. Full Covid-19 protocols will be in place at this event and masks must be worn at all times. OAK Unlock’d promises to be an exciting celebration of fine music for our famished audience. Well-known organist, Louna Stofberg has co-ordinated the concert and Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Hans Roosenschoon, César Franck, Massenet and Piazzolla will be celebrated on the organ, piano, violin, flute, viola and cello, as well as voice.

Maja van Dyk

The artists will be Louna (organ and piano), Winand Grundling (organ), Luvo Maranti (tenor), Maja van Dyk (viola), Samantha Durrant (violin), Pieter-Adriaan Stofberg (cello), Axolile Hoza (flute), Marlon van Rooyen (piano accompanist), and the Cantare Ensemble.

OAK deserves every possible support. New committee member, David Pike says: “When I moved to Hermanus from Pietermaritzburg, I left behind with the greatest regret a first-class choir. But the OAK performances here over the past two-and-a-half years have been musically and socially so rewarding that for me the move lost much of its sting.”

Pieter-Adriaan Stofberg

The future depends on Covid-19 and OAK, like most cultural organisations, will continue to need a great deal of personal and financial support. OAK survived 2020, doesn’t give up easily and has a passionate commitment to good music. This organisation supports and encourages performers, especially young ones, and is certainly planning to continue with the promotion of music – arguably a major force for breaking down barriers and satisfying cultural needs. OAK trusts that 2021 will allow them to have live concerts again on a regular basis.

Winand Grundling

So mask up for OAK Unlock’d and come and enjoy an exciting programme on Sunday afternoon, 13 December at 15:30 in the Hermanus Dutch Reformed Church. Tickets at R150 pp (R60 for students) are available at the Tourism Office in Mitchell Street (Tel 028 312 2629).

It is imperative that patrons purchase tickets prior to the concert to avoid congestion whilst observing the Covid-19 protocols. Go early to choose your seat.

For enquiries, contact René du Plooy on 082 940 4238.

Marlon van Rooyen
Piano Accompanist

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