featured image by Richard Rennie

On Saturday evening (March 2) the Clarens Golf Estate was lit with the sound of music. Fine melodies fashioned by strings, flute and harp – punctuated with outbursts of applause – drifted through wide-flung sliding doors into the cooling air, towards immaculately groomed greens, providing a rousing soundtrack to the conclusion of a weekend golfing day.

This was Sunset Serenade, performed by an ensemble of six chamber musicians. All six have a wealth of accomplishments in their own instruments, both locally and internationally. And they come with a somewhat Slavic character: in addition to the three South African members, two of the members are Bulgarian and a third is Russian. While it was their first appearance at the Golf Estate, this group of friends are not new to Clarens. Last year, and the two preceding years, they gave well-attended performances in the splendid gardens at the home of Anne and Sjoerd de Boer.

Their programme spanned across genres of music from Bach, Mozart and Tchaikovsky to Rogers and Hammerstein, from Jewish and Irish Folk through a selection of composers, to their brilliantly performed Strauss Pizzicato Polka that set off goose bumps. The rapturous second encore brought the musical feast to a conclusion with a vigorous, stomping swing.

During the interval, outside on neatly clipped lawns under a fledgeling evening of stars, a first class finger dinner was served on scatter tables. It was a crisp, clear evening with a promise in the air of approaching autumn, yet warmed by the spiritedness of the occasion.

Sunset Serenade is held annually in aid of the local Veterinary Welfare, Cluny Animal Trust. The Trust has been operational for eight years and provides an essential service in the curbing of domestic animal overpopulation and disease in indigent communities, where it also provides pet treatments and pet care education. The Trust works from a Mobile Operating Theatre at various sites in the area, and plans are already underway for the development of a small animal hospital. Their services to the community and their current development projects are only made possible through the commitment and generosity of their valued supporters, volunteers, sponsors, donors and fundraising events. To visit their website, please go to www.clunyanimaltrust.co.za .

Clarens, a village nestled on the lower flanks of a great valley, framed within the grandeur of a range of ancient mountains, is known as the Jewel of the Free State. The Clarens Golf Estate, with its superb 18 hole course, its spectacular views, and its handsome sandstone Clubhouse and Events facility, can well be called the Jewel of Clarens. It is a venue of extraordinary elegance and charm. To visit their website, please go to www.theclarens.co.za .

Words by

Mary Walker

3 March 2019