Stellenbosch University Choir (Afrikaans: Stellenbosch Universiteitskoor) is a Choir attached to Stellenbosch University. Founded in 1936, it is the oldest choir in South Africa. The current conductor, André van der Merwe, was appointed at the beginning of 2003. The Stellenbosch University Choir has toured overseas extensively and won critical acclaim for its performances. The choir is viewed as a leading South African choral ensemble.
In September 2006 the Stellenbosch University Choir celebrated 70 years of choral activities with a reunion – 400 former members attended the festive occasion. This reunion was living testimony to the positive impact that the choir has had on choral activities in South Africa since 1936. In September 2007 the Stellenbosch University Choir hosted a choral festival (KUESTA) where South African university choirs gathered in Stellenbosch for a weekend of choral music.
2011 saw a tour to the Southern Cape as well as a successful visit to the University of Pretoria for the bi-annual KUESTA choral festival. The choir also held their 75th reunion over the first weekend of September 2011, which was attended by over 300 former members of the choir. An album, 2011 In Concert was also released, containing live performance recordings made in the Endler Hall during a Gala concert and in the Musaion at the University of Pretoria during KUESTA.
In the South African context, it becomes increasingly important for the choir to reach out to choirs in less fortunate communities. During 2005 and 2006 the choir hosted an orphan children’s choir from Kayamandi – not only teaching music skills to the children, but also making the University Choir aware of the value of community service.
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“O thou, with dewy locks, who lookest down
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Thine angel eyes upon our western isle,
Which in full choir hails thy approach, O Spring!”
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