Catch the award-winning UJ Choir

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) Choir pi.jpgcked up three gold and two silver awards on a recent tour of the Czech Republic and Germany. Their coveted medals were won for various award-winning performances around the world.

Choir conductor, Renette Bouwer, said "We were competing against some of the top academic choirs in the world that are trained in western music."The choir sang at sell-out performances in Bremen and Kiel before going on to the 8th International Choral Symposium in Copenhagen in Denmark, as one of the guest choirs. It was the first choir to perform at the opening concert of the Copenhagen Opera House.

"With three gold awards, two silver awards and 19 sell-out performances, the UJ Choir have shown that they are able to successfully compete in both the western and traditional choral music fields".

Present members have been singing together since the beginning of the year. The UJ Choir was formed in 2005 by the amalgamation of two former Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit choirs, one singing western music, the other African music.

Chris Avant-Smith, the production manager of UJ Arts and the UJ Choir, says he believes the secret of the success of the UJ Choir is the perfect blending of African and western voices. "African voices are more free-flowing. [Bouwer] has been able to take the western voices and give them the African feel, and vice versa, a bit like mixing classical ballet with modern dancing".

The 48-member choir recorded an African music selection CD, called The Sounds of the Rainbow, its fifth CD, prior to its departure. Be sure to visit the choir website for information on the latest upcoming performances.

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