Coined “the Rainbow Nation” in the post-Apartheid era by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South Africa claims 11 national languages, widely varying climate zones, diverse wildlife, and many ethnic groups to prove this title. South Africa is also known for exceptional quality of ethnic and classical music, offering touring choirs and orchestras many experiences. Enjoy a traditional South African braai (barbeque), a beautiful safari and the possibility of collaborating with a number of excellent local choirs, bands and orchestras. Pair with tours to neighboring Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, or Mozambique to experience the variety of flavors that make up the Southern African experience.

With a native South African on its staff and a history of organizing orchestra and choir tours to South Africa since 1994, Classical Movements is the premier concert tour company to South Africa in the world. It has organized hundreds of tailor made and customized trips to this extraordinary country and has very close connections with top choirs, venues, orchestras, and music organizations in South Africa. Clients who have toured Southern Africa include the Yale Glee Club, University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club, Yale Concert Band, Pacific Boychoir, Morgan State University Choir and Children’s Chorus of Washington. Concert tours around the world have also been executed for Southern African groups such as Drakensberg Boys’ Choir, Voices of Namibia, UCCSA Broadhurst-Botswana and Wits Choir (University of Witwatersrand), Imilonji KaNtu Choral Society, Cenestra Male Choir, Cape Town Male Voice Choir and Kensington Chorale amongst others.

In 2018, Classical Movements organized the Minnesota Orchestra’s historic tour to South Africa, becoming the first professional U.S. orchestra to perform in the country, as well as collaborating with over 800 South African musicians.

Classical Movements owns and produces the Ihlombe! South African Choral Festival. Since its inception, the festival has presented 125 choirs from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and even Trinidad & Tobago.

Sights & Sounds

  • Ihlombe! Choral Festival
  • Johannesburg
  • Cradle of Humankind
  • Apartheid Museum
  • Cape Town
  • Cape of Good Hope
  • Port Elizabeth
  • Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
  • Pretoria
  • Voortrekker Monument
  • Soweto
  • Table Mountain National Park
  • Robben Island
  • Kruger National Park
  • Garden Route
  • Durban
  • Drakensberg Mountain
  • Paarl and Stellenbosch Wine Country



“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