To INSPIRE, INFORM, EMPOWER,
ENGAGE, EDUCATE and ENTERTAIN.
"Harnessing the power of the collective chorus."
To INSPIRE, INFORM, EMPOWER, ENGAGE, EDUCATE and ENTERTAIN.
“Raise your voice “ is a creative consortium that understands the power of music and the arts have to inspire, shape and form who we are. Under the Creative direction of Karen Van Pletsen (An artist and entrepreneur with extensive performance, development and production experience) “Raise your voice” specializes in creating artistic responses to individual, community and corporate needs.
Our work ranges from educational schools programs to large-scale public and corporate events. In all of our endeavors, we remain committed to our mission to inspire, inform, empower, engage, educate and entertain.
Van Pletsen is a multi skilled creative industry professional, with extensive skills and
experience across the music industry value chain. Her 15-year involvement in the
entertainment industry began Musical Theatre artist but soon extended to the
contemporary and jazz arenas. She has performed and recorded with a vast array of local artists and
extensively at festivals and venues around the country.
Her passion for performing was equally matched by an interest in the business aspect of the
industry. She has worked extensively in areas such as project design and event management, music production, artist liaison and contract negotiation, financial management, sponsorship acquisition and grant applications. She is an ambitious and strategic thinker who, throughout the course of her career, has nurtured numerous alliances with key organizations and individuals,
For The International World Transplant Games 2013
In July of 2013 we developed the highly successful “Our Hearts are Beating “ Campaign. The former was designed in response to the “International World Transplant Games’” organizing committee need to share their event message with a larger audience. Our campaign approach combined contemporary music and popular culture and saw us commission local chart topping group, “Gangs of Ballet “ to write an event anthem. This anthem was prerecorded featuring the former, Khaya Mtwetwa (Idols winner 2012) and the Durban Gospel Choir.
Public participation was encouraged through the formation of a mass choir which members of the public were encourage to join in return for free tickets to the opening ceremony. All that they were required to do was learn the song in advance song via the “Kareoke style” instructional video we produced, or through downloading the freely available mp3, and pitch for the performance on the day.
To inform the public of the former, we embarked on an intensive social and traditional media campaign .We took the message of the former directly to schools and businesses and even managed to get the track play listed on local radio stations. It worked. The media and public headed the call and the opening ceremony saw 2000 members of the public “Raise their voices” alongside 1700 international delegates a glorious anthem celebrating life and “second chances “. (Also to be noted is that this event economically empowered over 300 artists).
Join the sisterhood for good and raise your tongs for a good cause this Women’s Day !
Flames and Dames is an annual event designed to bring people together around the fire to raise funds for and awareness of organizations tackling the very serious issues affecting women and children. The event is open to all and committed to promoting the practice of Social Cohesion - as it is only together that we can make a change. This year’s fundraising recipient is the Open Door Crisis Care Centre in Pinetown, who offer invaluable support to those in need. (www.opendoor.org.za)
For more information please visit www.flamesanddames.co.za
Produced a national tour which saw 29 international and local artists journey from Johannesburg to Cape Town to raise awareness and unite citizens to demand the right to a safe birth for every woman, everywhere.
The tour saw the artists perform urban and rural environments .
Produced and Devised a 45min Hip Hop Road Show that toured to 20 regional schools in KZN.
The production included original material encouraging the youth to “Rise up and build themselves a future”.
About the production:
When freedom or hope is lost or gained, nothing proclaims it more than singing.
Featuring the magnificent voices of the Durban Gospel Choir, this 60-minute, concert style performance will celebrate the songs that have inspired the oppressed and uplifted the hopeless.
Throughout history man has used song to sustain himself in times of hardship and free his soul when his body was held captive. In the 1800’s the American Slaves lifted their voices singing “ Arise, arise! Shake off your chains!” .The 1940’s the Civil Rights movement adopted “We Shall Overcome” as their anthem and it ushered in change and brought hope.
Songs such as Bob Dylan’s “Blowin in the wind” fueled the protests of the 1960’s and Bob Marley’s “Redemption song” has always been a constant reminder to the listener to emancipate themselves “from mental slavery” for “none but ourselves can free our minds”.
In South Africa,history has proved that song can indeed induce a revolution. As Lee Hirsch (Who directed the incredible “Amandla:A revolution in four part Harmony”) said " …music was a seriously pivotal force in the liberation of South Africa….for people living under apartheid, song was the ultimate release. It was the way to get through a day and muster up the energy to fight, and to fight in a way that was predominantly non-violent."
Music has always provided solace. Paul McCartney explained that his mother—who died of cancer when McCartney was fourteen—was the inspiration for his international hit “Let it be”.
“Songs of Hope and Freedom” will remind the audience of our common struggles, shared victories and the role that music had played in achieving the former.
In the imitable words of Maya Angelou:
“The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom”
“Uplifting and Uniting through music ..”
" Music is a balm ...Once the balm is applied, it will heal the pain.”
The Durban Gospel Choir was born out of a desire to make music that would unite and inspire. Consisting of 20 dynamic singers all hailing from the Greater Durban area, the group has grown immensely since it's humble beginnings in 2009. They have performed at numerous corporate events such as The International Word Transplant Games 2013 ; The Nelson Mandela memorial ; COP17 ; The World Cup 2010 and The Albert Luthuli Memorial Lecture as well as collaborated with well known artists such as Arno Carsten and Zolani (of Freshly Ground fame) .
Their repertoire is diverse and includes traditional, gospel and contemporary melodies all performed in their unique “Durban Gospel Style”.