The Cape Town Goema Orchestra

The Cape Town Goema Orchestra, a 22 piece Cape Town based orchestra, is an ongoing project of Coffeebeans Routes. Company founder, Iain Harris, is a director of the Cape Town Composers’ Workshop, the not-for-profit organisation setup to co-ordinate and fund the activities of the orchestra. As of November 2013, the orchestra has completed 5 seasons, presenting brand new original symphonic works at each.Mac McKenzie is the leader of the orchestra and the vision behind it. Mr McKenzie and Mr Harris have worked together for a decade now on various projects.Below please see details of and extracts from the 5th season, concluded early November 2013. For more on the project, please visit the project Facebook page.


Featuring new compositions by Cape Town-based composers Keenan Ahrends, Amos Levin, Mac McKenzie, Mandla Mlangeni, Maxim Starcke and Ana Strugar.Presented by the Cape Town Composers’ Workshop (a Section 21 Not-for-Profit Organisation).

The Cape Town Goema Orchestra 2013 Final Poster


The Cape Town Goema Orchestra is excited to announce the dates of its fourth Summer Season series of concerts. Orchestra performances are scheduled to take place on the first two Saturdays of November, showcasing a new set of original compositions by six Cape Town composers. The Summer 2013 series is the Goema Orchestra’s first season to take place at the intimate Chisholm Room at the South African College of Music, at the University of Cape Town.

Founded on principles of fostering creativity and celebrating diversity, the Goema Orchestra provides an opportunity for emerging and established South African composers to perform their works. Established in 2010 under the auspices of the Cape Town Composers’ Workshop, the project has grown organically and collectively in its vision to elevate the profile of homegrown orchestral talents and foster a truly representative South African oeuvre.

While the works of musical director Mac McKenzie are most associated with the orchestra,  the project has a much larger vision.

The compositions to be played are the works of Keenan Ahrends, the youngest of the composers; Mandla Mlangeni and Maxim Starcke return for their 3rd appearance, again with new works, as does Serbian-born Ana Strugar. Amos Levin, originally from Johannesburg, makes his Goema Orchestra debut. Mac McKenzie is also scheduled to participate with a piece entitled “Cape Dance Variations”.

The movement, now in its 4th year, is redrawing the map in terms of fresh and inventive artistic and cultural output from Cape Town. It must surely be a unique city that can produce at least six new original symphonic works annually.

The Cape Town Composers’ Workshop is currently planning to take a group of Goema Orchestra composers to Switzerland early 2015. A Swiss Friendship Orchestra performed works by Mac McKenzie in 2012, and will do three concerts with him next year.