University of Stellenbosch Choir

University of Stellenbosch Choir

Today the Stellenbosch University Choir is the most successful choir in South Africa regarding participation in competitions abroad. Since André van der Merwe became the conductor of the choir it has received numerous awards. Recent performances at the World Choir Games in particular were especially impressive.

Graz 2008:

  • Named as world champion in the category Musica Sacra.
  • Achieved second place in the category Gospel & Spiritual.
  • Was Ranked the fourth best choir in the world by Musica Mundi.

Shaoxing 2010:

  • Gained the title Choir of the World by achieving the best marks by any choir during the competition.
  • Named as world champion in the categories Mixed Choirs and Musica Contemporanea.
  • Was Ranked as the second best choir in the world byMusica Mundi.

Cincinnati 2012:

  • Named as world champion in the categories Mixed Choirs en Musica Sacra.
  • Achieved second place in the category Popular Choral Music.
  • Ranked the best choir in the world by Musica Mundi.

USK is however not solely focused on international exposure, but also on community interaction in a local context. Domestic tours, as recently undertaken to the Eastern Cape, were very well received by audiences. An annual choir festival, presented by the university choir in collaboration with participating local schools, is meant to promote community-wide music participation and appreciation.

Stellenbosch University Choir and the World Choir Games

A major part of the University Choir’s existence revolves around its participation in the World Choir Games (WCG). Interkultur, who organizes and manages the organization WCG, has been operating for 20 years with an established evaluation system designed by Musica Mundi. This system is recognized worldwide as the standard by which choirs, within a competitive context, are assessed and compared.

The world ranking list, where USK is ranked 1st in the world, works back to 2000. These rankings do not only take a choir’s participation in the World Choir Games into consideration, but any of the approximately 150 festivals and competitions arranged by Interkultur. The university choir’s prominent position in these rankings is impressive when seen in this light.

For Recordings See USK Recordings