The international popularity of Senegalese music is due to both its catchy rhythms and a fusion of traditional, religious, classical and modern forms of music. As the country’s incredible nature preserves, beaches, and proximity to The Gambia draws more tourists, musical ensembles can enjoy the country’s increasingly modern travel amenities as well as collaboration opportunities with local choirs and traditional musicians, as well as Africa’s largest Jazz Festival.

Classical Movements has planned tours to West Africa since 1997. Over the course of 7 years in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, the company coordinated numerous tours for the Washington, D.C. Public Schools staff and students to West Africa, stopping in Mali, The Gambia, Senegal, Ghana and Togo, during Black History month. Classical Movements also planned the 45 day US tour for the Mandinka Dance Troupe.

Sights & Sounds

  • Dakar
  • Village des Arts
  • Théâtre National du Sénégal
  • Dakar Cathedral
  • St. Joseph Choir
  • Saint-Louis
  • Jazz Festival
  • Great Mosque of Touba
  • Île de Gorée
  • Rhinos, giraffes and antelopes at Fathala Nature Reserve
  • Popular mbalax music



“Ihlombe! is a life-changing cultural, social, and educational opportunity to travel to another country.”

-Washington Informer, Gale Horton Gay | April 24, 2013

“A grand concert at Pretoria City Hall…exhilarating performances.”

-Pretoria News | July, 2013

“Citing success in its South Africa programs, Blue Heart Tours has expanded into Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia with itineraries. According to the tour operator, South Africa is favorable for tourism because it is one of the most diverse and beautiful areas in the world and has tremendous potential for tourism in that it can offer safaris, a varied countryside, and the lure of big, cosmopolitan cities.”

-Jax Fax Travel Magazine | Feb, 1995

“One of the aims of the [Ihlombe!] festival is to see choirs performing out of their usual areas, and that goes beyond merely just hosting international groups. Even local choirs will have the opportunity to branch out into new communities. ‘The music here is very compelling. People around the world should know about it,’ says Neeta Helms.”

-Cape Times, Terri Dunbar-Curran | Aug. 5, 2010

“The lessons learned in South Africa will never be forgotten.”

-Toronto Star | Aug. 1, 2013

“Despite cultural differences, music does play a huge role in bringing people together. This was endorsed during the Ihlombe! South African Music Festival held at the University of Pretoria on Saturday.”

-Pretoria Rekord, Thokozile Mnguni | July 25, 2014

“Ihlombe! showcases not only local talent but unique circumstances too, such as the All Saints Blind Choir from Ga-Rankuwa. They have also partnered with accomplished names in choral music, like George Kamxadana. Then there is the issue of the premiere taking place in Soweto. The township affords the Canadian and American choirs a chance to witness a part of our country that they would otherwise not have seen.”

-The Citizen, Sibusiso Mkwanazi | July, 2010

“The prestigious Ihlombe! South African Choral Festival…”

-Washington Post, Petula Dvorak | July 25, 2013

“In keeping with one of the core beliefs of Classical Movements, and building on donations to the three benefactors of last year, some of the profits from the concerts will be shared between South African groups that work to help under-privileged communities and youth programmes. Classical Movements is also empowering local choirs by directly sharing the profits from ticket sales.”

-Johannesburg Star | July, 2010

“In the course of their tours, so many American groups have started learning Maori, Chinese, South African and Brazilian songs. In the process of taking American groups around the world, we have had so many exchanges and collaborations, and we’ve had a great number of groups that wanted to come to the States,’ Helms says.”

-Washington Post, Mark Jenkins | June 22, 2011