The Stellenbosch University Choir made a clean sweep at the prestigious Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales earlier this week, sweeping up three top prizes. Their conductor, André van der Merwe, was awarded the Jayne Davies Prize for Best Conductor at the same event.
The Stellenbosch University Choir made a clean sweep at the prestigious Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, winning all three categories they participated in.

The team came back with first prizes in the Youth Choirs Mixed Choirs and Open Choirs categories, while conductor André van der Merwe was awarded the Jayne Davies Prize for Best Conductor at the Eisteddfod.

The choir scored 95.5% in the Youth Choir category, won Mixed Choirs with 90.3% and Open Choirs with 95%.

The Stellenbosch University (SU) Choir was one of only four choirs invited to perform in the International Celebration Concert in front of an audience of 2000.

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.

Van der Merwe said he was “incredibly proud of the choir’s achievements in Wales”.

“The true spirit of making music together has triumphed. The warm reaction 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,” he said.

The International Musical Eisteddfod took place from July 5 to 8.

Each year this festival attracts about 50 000 visitors and 4 000 participants, including 150 choirs, from across the world.

Following their visit to the UK, the choir headed to the 2018 Interkultur World Choir Games in Tshwane, in which more than 300 choirs from across the world will participate.

Today sees the start of the second half of the 10th World Choir Games, and new choirs arrived in Pretoria for the event.

Because Van der Merwe is the chairperson of the artistic committee of the Choir Games, the SU Choir is not allowed to take part in the competition.

However, the choir, which has been number one on the Interkultur ranking list of a 1000 international choirs for the past five years, has been invited to perform as a demonstration choir at the Choir Games.

Tickets for the SU Choir’s Celebration Concert at the Choir Games in the Universiteitsoord tomorrow are available through Nutickets at http://wcg.nutickets.co.za/2018SA