TUKS CAMERATA - 45years of singing, sharing and fun
In 1968, a group of students who loved singing together decided to start an official choir under the name of the University of Pretoria. It is now more than 40 years later and nothing has changed. We are still a bunch of students who love singing together. We come from every field of study at the UP, including Medicine, Biological Sciences, Law, Engineering, Commerce, Education, Music, IT and Drama. Interestingly, most of the choir members have not had any extensive musical training.
We have seen the world and have been on choir tours to places such as New York, Venice, Sydney and Zanzibar, to name but a few! We have sung at weddings, funerals, birthdays, inaugurations and international competitions. Some members have found their soul mates and lifelong friends in this choir.
Some of us are extroverted and loud; others quiet and reserved. Some leave too soon and others stay for five or more years, but the one thing we all agree on, is that this choir has changed our lives forever and we are grateful that we can be part of it.
Perhaps someone reading this article may never have heard of the University of Pretoria Camerata, though others could have watched or even performed with us, whatever the reason, please read on so that you may get a better idea of who we are.
International concert tours include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, Namibia, Netherlands, Republic of China, Russia, Singapore, South America, Sweden, Tanzania, United States of America, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe. The University of Pretoria Camerata is preparing to tour to Sweden and Latvia this year to compete in the 2014 World Choir Olympics in Riga, Latvia.
Among the highlights of the choir are the following:
- 1993: International Roodepoort Eisteddfod, South Africa first Prize for Mixed Choirs
- 1994: Tallin Choir Festival, Estonia, First Prize for Mixed Choirs.
- 1996: Fourth International Symposium on Choral Music, Sydney, Australia Guest Choir.
- 1999: International Choral Competition for Advent and Christmas music, Prague, Czech Republic, category winners and overall winner of the competition.
- 2001: SNK International Choral Competition Arnhem, Netherlands, second prize for mixed choirs.
- 2001: Singkreis Porcia International Choral Competition, Spittal, Austria, Winner
- 2002: 6th World Choral Symposium, Minneapolis, USA, Guest Choir
- 2006: Concert tour to East Africa
- 2007: 46th C.A. Seghizzi International Choral Competition, Gorizia, Italy. Best conductor, best performance of a prescribed work and first place in the Jazz and Pop Category.
- 2009: Release of latest CD: A Reign of Rest - 2012: Release of latest CD: Voices of Autumn - 2012: Performed at the re-opening of the University of Pretoria Aula Theater. - 2013: Invited to participate at the prestigious RMB Starlight Classics with international Welsh soprano Katherine Jenkins, conducted by Richard Cock and directed by Ian von Memerty. - 2013: Performed at the memorial service of former President Nelson Mandela on the UP Campus - 2014 Feb: Performed at the KykNET Fiëstas Awards Ceremony, Pretoria State Theater. - 2014 Feb: Live performance on Morning Live SABC2 Breakfast TV Show. - 2014 July: Participation in the World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia
Works of a larger scope that have been performed include Missa Criolla (Ramirez), Messiah (Hndel), Weihnachtsoratorium (Bach), Missa Solemnis (Mozart), ein Deutsches Requiem (Brahms), Cantus Missae (Rheinberger), Mass in E minor (Bruckner), Requiem (Faur), Requiem (WA Mozart), Carmina Burana (Orff), Lobgesang (Mendelssohn) and St Cecilia Mass (Gounod).