The Qahal Orchestra play an integral part of Qahal Production’s larger events specially during Easter and Advent. The Qahal Orchestra is not a full time orchestra but set up when needed.
The orchestra is set up according to the requirement of the event and music. The orchestra is Hans Nel’s department. We look at the requirement of the event and then decide what kind of orchestra is needed to do the job. Music is then arranged and orchestrated according the requirement of the organisers of the event and the orchestra is put together according the score.
Musicians (instrumentalists) are recruited from all over the Cape Peninsula which includes professional musicians (Symphony Orchestra or Military Band), Music School musicians, musicians from Church Orchestra or Free Lance musicians. We try to encompass musicians from all age groups, any race, male or female even the bodily impaired such as the blind. Yes, even blind people can ‘read’ (brail) and play music. We are extremely grateful to churches such as the Apostolic Church (who provides us with string players and choirs) and music departments of schools and music schools who provide us with students who are eager to gain practical performance experience in the field.
Qahal Productions is a non profit organisation and depends largely on sponsorship or free service from artists who performs with our organisation but we do endeavour to pay professional musicians for their services, specially when we do larger projects. That being said, one can understand that, thus far, we could not afford the orchestra for many rehearsals, so usually we have to be content with one rehearsal and the performance. I’m really impressed how, specially the younger non-professional musicians, are doing their best to play as good as possible with only one rehearsal, as one can understand that at a dress rehearsal the person in charge (usually the organist), tries to put the program together in order and don’t want to stick to one number for a long time. Thus the orchestra must be on top of the game and practice their individual parts at home weeks before the event.
The Qahal Orchestra has many faces. They are:
Full Symphonic Orchestra
When we do large projects such as a passion play, we set up a Symphony Orchestra. We recruit a string section, a woodwind section, a brass section and a percussion section.
For smaller events such as concerts in school halls or churches where choirs and soloists involved, we set up a smaller orchestra. This orchestra usually consists of a small string section, a single woodwind section, two or three brass instruments and a timpany, bells or cymbals and Piano or Pipe Organ. This orchestra is ideal in small stages and it does not overpower the choir and singers. This orchestral setup is also ideal for chamber music such as areas by G. Handel and Easter music.
Qahal Cyberphonic Orchestra
This is one of my favourite orchestras as it does exactly what I tell it to do, but is performs totally free of charge. This orchestra resides in my computer equipment and I use this orchestra for backing tracks. There are times when one of the Qahal Musicians performs at a very small event and the hosts do not require (or cannot afford) a larger orchestra. Hans create backing tracks for the artist who have to perform at the event.
There are many times that Johann Nefdt requires only a piano and one (on occation two) instruments such as a flute, clarinet or violin to play obligatos while the soloist sing. The obligatos are mostly written for the instrumentalist by Hans. Usually we ask the solo performer to play one or to solos with piano at the concert on their instrument.