Sunset serenade 2010
Every year music lovers gather for a weekend of captivating classical performances in a spectacular setting: Kruger National Park. KIrsty Redman describes this unforgettable event, which was held in Letaba in September and October.
Picture it: the sun is already low in the sky when you set out in open game-viewing vehicles. Your destination? A clearing in the bush where six musicians from the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra await. As you sip on wine and Amarula, they’ll serenade you with pieces from composers such as Bach, Handel, Mozart and Strauss. Afterwards you’ll return to Letaba for dinner at the restaurant overlooking the river. It’s the perfect blend of natural beauty and beauty created by human hands.
The Sunset Serenade is a fundraising event for the Ranger Support Services division of the Honorary Rangers. The programme runs over a long weekend (8 to 12 September and 29 September to 3 October this year) and includes three sunset concerts followed by dinner. Each concert is specially compiled for the evening and conceived to complement the surroundings. This year’s line-up was Symphony of Nature, Nature Nocturne and Serenade Under African Sky.
Funds raised go towards supplying SANParks rangers with much-needed equipment. This year saw the launch of the “Own the night” campaign, which aims to provide night vision equipment and a helicopter with night flight capabilities – vital for the fight against rhino poaching.
It takes many sponsors and organisers to make an event like this a success. One of the main sponsors is the Mazda Wildlife Fund, whose dedication and involvement in the event continue to grow. Mazda Wildlife presented Mr John Turner (Chairperson of the Ranger Support Services) with a cheque of R100 000 and donated a brand new 4x4 bakkie for future fundraising efforts. Desert Wolf followed in this line with the generous sponsorship of a camping trailer described as a ‘town house on wheels’ to the value of R250 000.
Both functions received sponsorship from Distell in the form of Amarula product for the guests. The second function saw the donation of an oil painting from well-known artist Maré Bruwer which went for a nail-biting silent auction, all funds going towards anti-poaching in South African National Parks.
Thanks must be also be conveyed to Aquartz, RR Travel, Classic FM, Tabard and Memorex; the management and staff of Letaba restcamp and people and conservation department Nxanatseni South; the section rangers of Letaba, Phalaborwa and Kingfisherspruit for their assistance in other aspects of the function and the Letaba field rangers who ensured the safety of the guests at the concert sites; and lastly to the Honorary Rangers who work tirelessly for the benefit of South African National Parks.