The Stellenbosch University Choir is the most successful choir in South Africa regarding participation in competitions abroad. Since André van der Merwe became the conductor of the choir it has received numerous awards. Recent performances at the World Choir Games in particular were especially impressive.
The Stellenbosch University Choir is the oldest and most celebrated
choir in South Africa. The Choir was founded in 1936 under the baton of William
The Choir, an ensemble of approximately 80 – 100 voices, has won international
acclaim through performances, concert tours, and participation in prestigious
festivals and competitions.
The Choir comprises of students from various academic courses and
generally only a few members study music.
USK is however not solely focused on international exposure, but also on community interaction in a local context. Domestic tours, as recently undertaken to the Eastern Cape, were very well received by audiences. An annual choir festival, presented by the university choir in collaboration with participating local schools, is meant to promote community-wide music participation and appreciation.
Stellenbosch University Choir and the World Choir Games
A major part of the University Choir's existence revolves around its participation in the World Choir Games (WCG). Interkultur, who organizes and manages the organization WCG, has been operating for 20 years with an established evaluation system designed by Musica Mundi. This system is recognized worldwide as the standard by which choirs, within a competitive context, are assessed and compared.
The world ranking list, where USK is ranked first in the world, works back to 2000. These rankings do not only take a choir's participation in the World Choir Games into consideration, but any of the approximately 150 festivals and competitions arranged by Interkultur. The University Choir's prominent position in these rankings is impressive when seen in this light.
- Named as world champion in the category Musica Sacra.
- Achieved second place in the category Gospel & Spiritual.
- Ranked the fourth best choir in the world by Musica Mundi.
- Gained the title Choir of the World by achieving the best marks by any choir during the competition.
- Named as world champion in the categories Mixed Choirs and Musica Contemporanea.
- Ranked as the second best choir in the world by Musica Mundi.
- Named as world champion in the categories Mixed Choirs and Musica Sacra.
- Achieved second place in the category Popular Choral Music.
- Ranked the best choir in the world by Musica Mundi.