The Ndlovu (end-LOVE-you) Youth Choir is a group of young people from the Ndlovu Care Group in the rural village of Moetse, Limpopo, South Africa. Founded in 1994 by Dutch doctor Dr. Hugo Tempelman, the Care Group provides innovative healthcare, childcare, education and community development to thousands of individuals and families throughout the region.
Founded in 2009 as an after-school activity under the direction of choirmaster/arranger Ralf Schmitt, participation in the choir has profoundly affected the lives of the choristers and demonstrates the potential of any human being to achieve excellence no matter their background, education or place of birth. From its humble beginnings the choir has evolved into a truly outstanding professional ensemble of approximately 16 singers that has performed throughout South Africa and Europe.
Led by Schmitt, the choir sings mainly in the isicathamiya (is-he-cat-a-ME-ya) style popularized by Ladysmith Black Mambazo and The Lion King musical/movie. Singing in Zulu, Xhosa and English their repertoire includes original songs, ancient tribal chants, inspirational gospel and contemporary songs by artists such as Hugh Masakela. In performance their glorious choral arrangements are further uplifted by traditional costumes and excellent choreography, inevitably inspiring joy, dancing in the aisles and standing ovations.
About the musical director: Ralf Schmitt began his musical career as a chorister himself in the Drakensberg Boys Choir, after which he studied music and choral conducting at the University of Pretoria. Of German and English descent, this dynamic choral conductor identifies as African and is thoroughly steeped in the indigenous musical culture and traditions of South Africa. He has directed several young people’s choirs, including the Roedean Girls Choir from Johannesburg and the Mzansi Choir from Soweto. He is also director of The Groove Yard, a Johannesburg-based production company specializing in commercial sound design, corporate events and leadership workshop utilizing music ensembles.