The Old Mutual Carols by Candlelight concerts have become a mainstay of the festive season and are synonymous with giving to the less fortunate. This year is no different: on 30 November and 1 December, the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens and Pretoria National Botanical Gardens (respectively) will reverberate to the sounds of Christmas carols.
The Bala Brothers and the Field Band Foundation will lead the singing. The Field Band Foundation’s marching band will kick off proceedings with a stirring, expertly choreographed performance. This foundation is a youth-development project that engages underprivileged youngsters through music and dance.
The Bala Brothers are a multi-award-winning trio renowned for infusing classical opera sounds with popular African music. Their mastery has put them in global demand, and they’ve appeared in London alongside the Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir and at the Edinburgh Festival.
As usual, collection bins will be placed in the Gardens for concert-goers to donate non-perishables, blankets and toys that will bring joy to children who will not be spending the festive season with their loved ones.
“Many traditions endure because their value is timeless, and Carols by Candlelight is one such tradition,” said Bandile Mngoma, sponsorships manager at Old Mutual. “The festive season is a time of joy and for communities to come together. Carols by Candlelight is an opportunity for families and friends to give to the less fortunate, and the splendour of the Gardens adds magic to the occasion. We encourage music lovers to attend as they will also be giving to a good cause.”
Tickets are available at www.plankton.mobi for R50, or for R70 at the door. Children under 13 can enter for free and stand a chance to win Christmas-themed goodies. Gates will open at 17h00 and the concert will end at approximately 20h00. Everyone is welcome to bring picnic baskets and blankets. An on-site restaurant and tea garden are available; both serve alcoholic beverages.
Old Mutual will donate proceeds from the concerts to the Abraham Kriel Childcare Centre in Gauteng. The centre’s main objective is to protect, care and develop children who have been subjected to trauma, abuse, molestation, poverty and neglect. Concert-goers are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items and toiletries, as well as toys and blankets.
For more on the Old Mutual Music in the Gardens music series, go to www.dogreatthings.co.za/music