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Minnesota Orchestra tours South Africa

August 18, 2018
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The Minnesota Orchestra's woodwind quintet plays a series of short pieces for students, parents and staff at the Eurocon Primary School in Elsies River near Cape Town, South Africa, on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018. A string quartet and brass quintet performed similar short sets. Many of the adults in the crowd said they had never experienced live classical music before. (Euan Kerr/Minnesota Public Radio via AP)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Orchestra’s two-week tour of South Africa is taking its performances to audiences that may have never heard classical music before.

Classical music was considered something for the nation’s white elite under the apartheid regime that ruled South Africa for much of the second half of the 20th century, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

Outreach has become a part of the Minnesota Orchestra tours.

The Minnesota Orchestra is hoping to play to diverse audiences on its five-city tour. The orchestra is also incorporating new music into its performances.

The group recently performed for teachers, students and families at Eurocon Primary School in Elsies River, which is just outside of Cape Town, South Africa. The group was greeted by schools student choir.

“Our community needs this kind of thing to teach them about other cultures and musical instruments, and music,” said Eurocon Principal Frank Agulhas.

The orchestra spit into small groups to explain their how their instruments work and later played. The performance started with the string quartet, followed by a woodwind quintet, and then the brass quintet.

“It was a learning experience for me, too,” said Agulhas, saying he had never before heard a classical music performance.

Orchestra members went on to perform in Durban.

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

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