Music is a great tool that can unite different racial groups. This is according to United States Consul General in KwaZulu-Natal Sherry Zalika Sykes.

She was delivering a welcoming address at the Durban City Hall ahead of the performance of the US Minnesota Orchestra.

The orchestra is on a five-city tour in the country and will visit different cities as part of celebrating Mandela’s centenary.

The Durban City Hall was full to capacity with lovers of classical music, all eager to hear the Minnesota Orchestra at its best.

But, it was not just the talent of the American musicians on display as they collaborated with the Clermont Community Choir.

“I think being versatile helps us because we managed to bring the cultural element in the music. We learnt a lot from them as they brought new element in the music. Shortly, it is a great honour to be part of the collaboration,” says the Manager of the Clermont Choir Msizi Mnyandu.

The senior manager of Minnesota Orchestra Gwen Pappas says it is great pleasure to be part of the celebration in honour Mandela.

“This performance is rich in culture, especially South Africa and it is part of honouring Mandela. We feel great as we will collaborate with local artists who will show the beauty of South Africa.”

US Consul-General in Durban Sherry Zalika Sykes says she feels honoured by the visit of the US Orchestra, as music is a great tool that can unite different racial groups.

“Music is one of the tools that unite people and promote unity. As we celebrate Mandela’s centenary, we have a great pleasure to be part of this celebration and we will always support this kind of music.”

The orchestra is expected to visit Pretoria, Soweto and Johannesburg.