We are proud to endorse Africa Voices graduate Lana Crowster, who has been chosen to facilitate and lead a vocal ensemble which will be backing the powerhouse songstress Laura Burhenn (Mynabirds, Postal Service & Bright Eyes) on her South African tour in 2014. Lana will be joining Burhenn in facilitating workshops with selected up and coming vocalists as part of an outreach project aimed at mentoring developing talent:

Laura Burhenn is an established singer songwriter from the United States and the dynamic front woman of the soul folk band The Mynabirds. She has also toured the world extensively as a member of indie mega bands The Postal Service and Bright Eyes. In her first visit to South Africa in July 2014, Laura will be performing in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Grahamstown (National Arts Festival), The Cape Town World Music Festival and various other venues around the country.

As part of the tour initiative, Laura is collaborating with equally established homegrown songbirds (Inge Beckmann for the Cape Town performances, Shotgun Tori and Lucy Kruger for the Grahamstown performances and Eve Rakow in Johannesburg), as well as focusing on women from previously disadvantaged communities via a series of workshops in the areas she visits. This is part of a mentorship program in association with Lana Crowster, a graduate from the Africa Voices Trust.

The Songbird Tour places emphasis on celebrating the creative woman. It is aimed at being a exchange that serves as an interaction between established international artists, up and coming South African performers and local talent within disadvantaged communities. The established acts are vibrant and successful female artists who have significantly contributed to their respective music scenes and will be using this tour as an opportunity to also interact with and inspire women at a grassroots level.

The mentorship programme is a pilot program that aims to uplift two singers from disadvantaged communities and gives them the opportunity to develop real experience in a tour environment. The One Fine Day directors along with the input of our Africa Voices graduate Lana Crowster and Laura Burhenn will select two candidates. These two talented, yet inexperienced, stage performers will then be trained on an ongoing period for a month prior to the tour with the focus on learning the songs and the requirements of the performances as well as coaching in stagecraft. Much of this training will take place in Cape Town under the guidance of The Africa Voices Trust graduate Lana Crowster with Laura Burhenn and our other South African Tour Songbirds overseeing their development and training, either face to face or via Skype. Once Laura Burhenn arrives in Cape Town she will start intensive workshop sessions for 3 days prior to the beginning of the tour.


Mentorship Program Leader and facilitator – Lana Crowster

After completing her training as a vocal performer at the University of Cape Town’s Music College in 2010, Lana Crowster was invited to become a member in the of the prestigious Africa Voices Trust Program. Ms. Crowster has proved to be one of the most dynamic and soulful of the Africa Voices Trust Participants. Having taken part in the program in 2012 she has gone on to create a career for herself in the music industry in South Africa as well as being a vocal lecturer at AFDA in Cape Town. She is a member of 6-piece jazz band that performs with great regularity and success. Fortunate enough to have a great voice and a dynamite presence on stage, Lana has also shown an ongoing desire to be involved in the upliftment of other talented singers and musicians and shows a constant willingness and enthusiasm for collaborative work within her industry. Having successfully completed the rigorous on stage and studio training that forms part and parcel of the Africa Voices Trust Program, Lana is now keen to spread some of her enthusiasm and knowledge to others less fortunate than herself. 


Charity Show for the Children at Amapondo

After the National Arts Festival performances, the tour travels to Port St Johns where will be giving a charity show for the Amapondo Children’s Project (ACP), a registered non-profit organization. The ACP offers community support through its involvement in a number of projects, focusing on recognizing the needs of the local people in order to create community led initiatives, jobs, education, self-empowerment and valuable exchange whilst utilizing the skills and experience of both national and international volunteers. Their current primary focus is the Eluxolweni Boy’s Orphanage, a home that takes care of 11 young people who are between the ages of 11 and 18. The secondary focus is the MthumbanePre-Primary School, where approximately 60 children between the ages of 2 and 6 attend class daily.

(For more information visit the website at