19/07/2012 00:00 AM

The Foundation Choir with the Pietermaritzburg Midlands Youth Choir

The Foundation Choir meets the the Pietermaritzburg Midlands Youth Choir at Old Trafford.

Foundation choir sings out for South Africa

Manchester United Foundation's youth choir accompanies South African choristers at Old Trafford…

Just as Manchester United’s 2013 campaign kicked-off with a pre-season friendly in Durban, the MU Foundation’s youth choir were busy exchanging notes with an award-winning choir from the very same South African province.

Taking time out from their tour of the UK, the Pietermaritzburg Midlands Youth Choir, who recently came second in the prestigious Eisteddfod festival in July, visited the Theatre of Dreams to lead the Manchester United youngsters in a workshop of traditional South African songs.

Standing in the Sir Alex Ferguson stand at Old Trafford, the two choirs ended the session by joining forces and serenading fans on their stadium tours.

William Silk, the musical director from the Midlands Youth Choir, said, “It’s been a fantastic opportunity, for both us and the Foundation. It’s culturally and musically a great learning experience.” He added, “Manchester United are highly respected in South Africa and there are many fans in the choir so this has been a very exciting experience for us.”

Formed 18 months ago, the Foundation youth choir comprises over 70 teenagers based in Manchester, Salford or Trafford. The choir aims to give its singers experiences that will help them grow as individuals, and this cultural collaboration gave our local youngsters a memory they will never forget:

“We didn’t know what to expect and it’s been amazing,” explained Daniel McDwyer, 19, from Fallowfield. “Everyone in our choir loves singing, that’s why we come every week, but having watched the South African choir, it’s shown us that it’s not all about just standing there and sounding good, you have to enjoy yourself as well.”

Aged 14, Leah Chuwen from Burnage added, “It’s great to see how people can express themselves in other ways. We have the same passion for music, but the way they express it is a more fun way and that interaction between the singers can really change how a piece is performed.”