THE annual miracle has again occurred – this is its 14th year. Our own Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by inimitable, talented master of ceremonies Richard Cock, drew what seemed to be the biggest crowd yet, to Victoria Park on Saturday afternoon.
Many hundreds of Port Elizabethans (and several from Uitenhage!), descended on Victoria Park, bearing chairs, picnics and plenty of bonhomie for the Concert in the Park. I am always charmed, excited and proud to see the waves of regular supporters waiting eagerly but patiently, to buy their tickets at the tables and then to find a "pozzie" on which to settle and absorb the entertainment on offer, both on stage and off.
Take a bow, no one could ever call us apathetic while this tradition rolls on in our metro. Very little litter is ever left on the lawns, incidents of any other type than exuberance are nil and enjoyment is the name of the day.
The varied programme seemed to suit all, with everything from classics to pop and showcased the best of the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra. Zwai Bala (hailing from Uitenhage and educated at the Drakensberg Boys' Choir and St Stithian's College, Randburg and a member of the Bala Brothers group with younger brothers Loyiso and Phelo) and singer Naz Holland were popular soloists.
Congratulations from us, the masses, to all who had anything to do with ensuring the tradition marches on. You lifted our spirits and made us believe in our city, as you always do.
The orchestra's concert schedule for this year was circulated on the back of the programme, cleverly printed on bright yellow, to ensure it was not lost, but taken home. Apart from the performance at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in July, all the concerts will take place in the Feather Market Centre and mostly on Sundays.
The ECPO relishes and deserves our support and we need it!
Bernice Wright, Port Elizabeth