THE FINAL LEG

We’re on a flight to Johannesburg. Mrs. Case and her gang must be on en route to Philadelphia by this time. Lucky them. It’s a looooooooong flight home. But there’s no other way to get there, so it must be done.
Last night we had a wonderful concert at the Rondebosch Prepartory Boys School. We were hosted by the elementary school, so we were treated to a performance by their younger singers. Very charming and good singers for their young ages. There had to be hundreds of them. Would be a great recruitment school for KSB, but the commute could prove difficult.
We dedicated “Prayer of the Children” to the children who lost their lives in Norway. An incomprehensible tragedy.
This concert was a Grad only performance. In part because half of our trebles went home, and also because this was part of the traditional “Grad night” at the end of tour. We recorded this concert as well so for a keepsake for the Grads. They were a huge hit. The juxtaposition of the young South African boys singing with our oldes boys made for the perfect compliment. We ended with “I Need You To Survive.” Hearing these little guys sing their heart out, with their British accent was a hoot and made for a magical moment.
This morning we did two school concerts. The first was at Rondebosch, and the second was at a township school. At both schools, our singers delighted their audience. But the second was, of course, the most moving. Within the span of an hour the boys went from singing for the privileged to singing for (and with!) the impoverished. I’m so pleased that this was the last musical moment of our concert tour to South Africa. Making music with people who have so little and, at the same time, give so much. In this way, we were the privileged.
The Grads dashed off for an exclusively-Grad lunch and the trebles spent a little time doing some last minute shopping. Then it was off to the airport.
Thirty-nine thousand feet in the air, with this journey almost behind us, my mind is already racing of the journeys ahead. The launch of a new season, B1K!, ACDA in February (President Day’s Weekend – mark your calendars), and our next international concert tour. But I’m reminded of what Nelson Mandela wrote at the end of “Long Walk to Freedom.”
I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibility, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.”
Of course KSB’s accomplishments are not as significant as Madiba’s accomplishment of peace and equality in South Africa. Yet, I’m sure he would applaud us for, in our own small but important way, making the world a better place like he did. The KSB experience builds character, develops discipline, nurtures brotherhood, fosters sensitivity, celebrates diversity, all in the name of achieving something beautiful and sharing it with others. The boys, through their song, touches people and inspires them to appreciate and even create beauty in their own lives. KSB stands for everything Nelson Mandela stands for. And I trust he would say to each and everyone of them, job well done. Keep singing, keep reaching, keep spreading the joy, keep creating community through song. Ubuntu!
Happy Birthday, Madiba! Thank you for your life, your struggle, your perseverance. Thank you for giving us a sense of purpose as we sang our way through your new South Africa. Thank you for being a hero, and calling each one of us to be one too.
And a final thank you to you the parents who sacrificed much, and took that leap of faith to put in our care your most precious treasure - your child.

Until next tour…