The 6th World Aids Day Gala Concert on Wednesday 1st December 2010 takes place in the Artscape Opera House at 19:30. A formal dress affair - with a touch of red, it has a star studded line-up of guest artists that includes the director of this event, Jimmie Earl Perry who is an international recording artist, actor and the first UNAIDS Special Goodwill Ambassador to South Africa. He will be joined by vocalist Sharon Kips, Winner of X-Factor Netherlands, Soli Philander (MC), Grammy Award winning music icons Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the New Apostolic Church Symphony Orchestra and 150 Voice Choir conducted by Mario Verster, Grammy nominated and multi-award winning South African pianist Nina Schumann and many others.
The impressive powerful programme of classical, pop, adult contemporary and jazz genres will inspire patrons to make a difference to mankind. It is a joyous celebration, honouring unsung heroes and salutes individuals and organizations who have contributed to the fight against HIV/AIDS. The concert also provides a platform for committed artists to perform in a professional environment in support of the cause.
Since 2005, the Africa Centre for HIV/Aids Management at Stellenbosch University has hosted this significant event. Prof Jan Du Toit, Director of the Centre mentions the invaluable successes the Centre’s academic programme has made through education, prevention and research. ‘It is imperative to recognize the critical role that the vulnerable and marginalized population play in the epidemic. We need to invest in models of service delivery that reach these and all population groups and ensure equitable and quality services that are able to provide sustainable support to the most affected communities’, he states.
In 2004 while performing in Germany as Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Super Star, American born Jimmie Earl Perry was re-introduced to Prof Jan du Toit who enlightened him on the Africa Centre’s academic programme and the shocking facts of the pandemic in South Africa. He also shared his vision on how the Arts could make a great impact on the Africa Centre’s community mobilization programme. The result was Jimmie leaving his showbiz world the same year to take up the position of Visiting Professor and Director of Educational Theatre and Creative Arts at the Centre. Now proudly a South African citizen this multi-talented artist, who boasts Andrew Lloyd Webber as a former employer (10 years) and a successful international career as a singer/actor/dancer, is living his dream in service of others; ‘Opening minds through the arts in order to understand and accept HIV/AIDS as a reality.
Since its formation 10 years ago, The Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management unit for teaching, research and community mobilisation has developed the most comprehensive and largest HIV/Aids management-training program in the world. In addition, the Educational Theatre and Arts division has attained unparalleled success with education, awareness and voluntary testing across the country under the leadership of Prof Perry.
Considered to be one the biggest and most popular events commemorating World Aids day on the African continent, this concert has sold out every year so best to book now. Tickets cost R75 and R120 and are available from Artscape Dial-a-Seat 021 421 7695. Computicket, Shoprite, Checkers outlets and on line www.computicket.com
Amongst other artist featured at this Gala Concert are South Africa’s esteemed ‘rhythm section’, Shaun Johannes (bass) Andrew Ford (keyboards), Barry van Zyl (drums) and Richard Caesar (guitar). They will perform with the New Apostolic Symphony Orchestra. Also appearing are vocalists Conroy Scott, Rouchelle Liedemann, 14 year old Kaylim Davids, Wendy Alexander, motivational speakers; Vuyiseka Dubula (General Secretary of Treatment Action Campaign), Toni Zimmerman and Nombeko Mpongo.