The choir will be touring the United Kingdom from 29 June to 15 July 2018, where it will compete at the Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod in Wales and perform in London and Bath by invitation.
The Llangollen Eisteddfod, in addition to being a world-renowned choral music festival, is also a celebration of the music, dance and culture of nations from around the globe. Participation in this highly esteemed music festival marks the beginning of the SU Choir's bid to broaden its experience and to match itself alongside other musical talents from across the world.
SU Choir conductor André van der Merwe says that this UK trip means a lot to all of them. “It is an exciting opportunity to showcase South African culture on a truly international stage. We will compete in three categories and the choir has also been invited to sing at a special International Celebration Concert before the competition."
The choir has been hard at work preparing for the trip. It has been rehearsing twice a week for two hours over the last few months, something André is very pleased with. The choir plans to sing a diverse programme from classical to pop music.
“For our pop category, I made arrangements of Baba Yetu by Christopher Tin; Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran and Angel by the Wings by Sia especially for our choir. We will also perform two compositions by Capetonian composer Hendrik Hofmeyr," says André.
The SU Choir is one of South Africa's most outstanding youth development and choral programmes. For the past 82 years, this choir has reflected the changes in the country's wider society and today stands as a testament to the power of music to bring about diversity and harmony across the societal divide.
On its return to South Africa, the choir will participate in the Interkultur World Choir Games (WCG), held in Tshwane this year, as featured special guests. In 2017, the SU Choir was ranked first on the Interkultur list of 1 000 international choirs for the fifth consecutive year after participating in the World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia, organised by Interkultur in July last year.
“The ranking is a wonderful bonus and testimony to the students' commitment and talent. It also brings a responsibility to strive to be the best we possibly can, on and off the stage. In a sense, it is wonderful that we won't compete when the WCG is hosted in our own country. Now we can focus more on sharing who we are," says André.
Visit https://www.youtube.com/user/USChoirKoor to listen to the SU Choir.