Ofentse Pitse: SA’s 1st black woman to own and conduct an orchestra

Ofentse Pitse: SA’s 1st black woman to own and conduct an orchestra

Original Author:  Claudio Leng
Original Publications: Briefly
Date: 27 November 2019

– Ofentse Pitse is a black South African woman who has become the first conductor and owner of an all-black orchestra

– The record-setting young lady achieved the incredible feat without a formal musical qualification

– Pitse’s 40-piece symphony orchestra, Anchored Sound, also stands out in the industry as all their proceeds earned are directly used to financially assist its members

Ofentse Pitse has mastered the art of setting the tone – in a literal, as well as a figurative sense.

The inspirational 27-year-old has set the bar in more ways than one with her groundbreaking orchestra, Anchored Sound.

Not only is Pitse the only conductor of an all-black orchestra, but the young black female owns the musical group as well.

SowetanLIVE reported that Anchored Sound is the first of its kind in the world and it’s heartwarming to note that it is the brainchild of a young South African woman.

Pitse has music flowing in her genes as her late grandfather, Otto Pitse, was known as a great trumpeter and orchestra conductor as well.

Perhaps she was therefore destined for musical greatness, but the fact that she’s achieved so much without a formal qualification in music, still takes some doing.

Pitse shared some insight as to what it takes to become an orchestra conductor. She said, “You have to walk in there with a certain kind of reverence and confidence.” Pitse explained that part of the challenge is that she needs to lead people who almost expect to see an elderly male leading them during performances.

Much of her success in the industry is due to the role played by her mentors Thami Zungu and Gerben Grooten, after she called on them for guidance.

Pitse has been slowly forming her ensemble since 2017 as she handpicked youngsters from Tembisa, Soweto, Pretoria and Katlehong. Thanks to her forward-thinking, talent and determination, the group grew from only eight members to a 40-piece symphony orchestra.

Pitse revealed her passion for empowering black youth as she said, “I’m a believer in the black narrative and a believer in the black child.”

Anchored Sound is living proof of this, as all proceeds from performances are used to directly assist its members.

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