After a nine-month successful stint at the helm of the UNIZULU choir as stand-in conductor Sizwe Zwane is now stepping aside.
The arduous task of conducting the prestigious choir fell on the shoulders of Zwane, a high school teacher, a part-time lecturer and part-time student when choir conductor Bhekani Buthelezi was focusing on progressing at the Clash of the Choirs competition.
“To be honest I was not intimidated to stand in (for Buthelezi). I had been working with the choir since 2007 and during that time I had gained valuable experience on even how to prepare for competitions”.
The hardworking and multi-tasking Zwane not only continued where Buthelezi had left off but led the choir to even soar to much greater heights.
On 27 April the UNIZULU choir scooped the third spot at the Melting Pot a national choir competition held at the Durban City Hall. It is that competition that the choir performed with the KZN Philharmonic Ochestra (KZNPO).
The Durban City Hall proved a happy hunting ground for Zwane and the UNIZULU choir as on August 30 they were back there once again to compete at the National Choir Festival where the choir got position two.
In September the UNIZULU choir was invited to perform with the KZNPO at the festival choirs from KZN-based universities. The performance from the UNIZULU choir serenaded those attending the conference.
Zwane has high praises for choir members saying they had shown him a great deal of respect during his time at the helm. “It was a first time for me conducting a University choir and so thought I was going to have a problem because these choir members are people who are of the same age as me. But they showed a high level of maturity and they gave me respect”.
The valuable experience that Zwane got conducting the UNIZULU choir has come in handy in his work with the choir of Birdswood Secondary School where he teaches. The school choir were crowned national champions last year, within months of Zwane having formed that choir.
Zwane who is also studying towards a Masters in Development in UNIZULU has had to juggle time between his many interests which also include being a part-time lecturer at the University. He reveals that the UNIZULU choir practices everyday of the week but despite this gruelling practice schedule and him being busy he says he will continue being part of the choir.