July 21 – 28, 2023


Founded in 2009 with a special focus on collaboration and service, Classical MovementsIhlombe! South African Choral Festival features a true diversity of ensembles exchanging cultures through shared workshops, side-by-side rehearsals and outreach projects throughout the Rainbow Nation—all while performing for enthusiastic crowds in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Soweto and numerous communities across South Africa.

Hailed as “the largest international choral gathering in South Africa” by the Cape Times, over the past decade, Ihlombe! has highlighted nearly 90 choirs from some 10 countries.

Watch a preview of Classical Movements’ Ihlombe! Choral Festival

12th Ihlombe! South African Choral Festival: Beginnings

Inspired by the Kalahari Bushmen, one of the oldest continuous cultures on Earth, Classical Movements’ 12th Ihlombe! South African Choral Festival will celebrate in song the traditions of humankind throughout the ages. Learning from the past, while joyously looking toward our future together, Ihlombe! 2022 invites vocal ensembles of all kinds, the world over to journey along with us—sharing your rhythms, languages, and passions.


Ihlombe! Testimonials:

“Unforgettable memories of a perfect itinerary, around-the-clock assistance,
impressive landscapes, the most cordial encounters and great concerts remain with us.”

Christoph Bachmann | Founder & Director of Choirs, Jugendchor Konservatorium Winterthur

“Musically, we had an opportunity to hear some very fine choirs from South Africa and the United States.
Culturally, we visited places that will change our lives forever, giving us all memories that will last a lifetime.”

Dr. Eric Conway | Choir Director & Fine Arts Chairman, Morgan State University

“Classical Movements is making leaps and bounds in promoting not only music,
but sharing, cultural diversity and a true appreciation of humanity.”

George Gobingca Mxadana | Director, Imilonji kaNthu Choral Society

“South Africa is an extraordinary destination for choral music,
and the team at Classical Movements helped us create an unforgettable trip.”

Dr. Jeffrey Douma | Music Director, Yale Alumni Chorus

 “Ihlombe! was the best travel/performance experience I’ve ever had. The choirs we performed
with were outstanding, as were the excursions. Thank you for the positive change on my life,
as well as the lives of all who experienced Ihlombe!”

Timothy Sharp | Music Director, Miami Children’s Chorus

Ihlombe! Press:

“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

“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

“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

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Interested in more information about our Ihlombe! Festival?