The Stellenbosch University Choir made a clean sweep at the prestigious Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, winning all three categories they participated in – Youth Choirs‚ Mixed Choirs and Open Choirs. The choir finished first in the Youth Choir category with a score of 95,5%, won Mixed Choirs with 90,3% and Open Choirs with 95%.
André van der Merwe, the conductor of the SU Choir, was awarded the Jayne Davies Prize for Best Conductor at the Eisteddfod.
Van der Merwe says he is “incredibly proud of the choir's achievements in Wales. The true spirit of making music together has triumphed. The warm reactions of audiences to our music was really moving. I feel the artistic dimension of the choir has deepened because we could share the soul of South Africa on an international stage."
The International Musical Eisteddfod took place from 5 to 8 July. This festival yearly attracts around 50 000 visitors and 4 000 participants, including 150 choirs, from across the world. The SU Choir was one of only four choirs invited to perform in the International Celebration Concert in front of an audience of 2 000. This concert was the official opening of the Llangollen Eisteddfod and was broadcast on British TV. The SU Choir also took part in the colourful International Parade through Llangollen which sees the participating choirs walk through the city as representatives of their countries.
Following their visit to the UK, the choir heads for the 2018 Interkultur World Choir Games in Tshwane in which more than 300 choirs from across the world will participate. Because André van der Merwe is the chairperson of the artistic committee of the Choir Games, the choir is not allowed to take part in the competition. However, the SU Choir, which has been number one on the Interkultur ranking list of a 1 000 international choirs for the past five years, has been invited to perform as demonstration choir at the Choir Games.
- Tickets for the SU Choir's Celebration Concert at the Choir Games in the Universiteitsoord on 12 July is available through Nutickets: http://wcg.nutickets.co.za/2018SA