Choral singing is South Africa’s most prevalent possibility of music making. It contributes to the welfare of a country in numerous ways: shaping individuals, equipping them to think critically as well as being engaged citizens, through the development of intellectual resources and human potential, building a cultural identity.
For several children and adolescents, choral singing in schools is their first encounter with classical music. Many learners have been encouraged by their conductors to either adopt an instrument or to further develop their singing voice. It is this motivation that inspires the study of music at tertiary level.
Stellenbosch University is one of the very few South African universities that offer a full academic programme in choral conducting. Apart from the practical training of young conductors, teachers and singers, the division endeavours to pioneer a process of music-making and research of our multi-ethnic society by combining musical excellence, creativity, research output and social awareness. Students are meant to become musical agents of change through aspiring for both artistic excellence and local relevance, through working with people both creatively, sustainably and compassionately.
Choral conducting as an academic subject was established in 2006 by Dr Rudolf de Beer who set the foundations of today’s programme. Like all music activities in our Department, Choral Conducting aims for excellence and to be internationally competitive. Students can apply to study choral conducting as an A or B-instrument on all undergraduate programme levels, Masters or PhD.
Martin Berger is Head of the division.