Rhodes University Melodies take first place

The Rhodes University Melodies (RUM) has recently competed in their first competition involving Eastern Cape choral choirs, which was held at Grahamstown City Hall. The choir was placed first in the mixed double quartet category and third in the mixed choir section.

Chairperson of the choir, Obakeng Montsho said he believes the RU Melodies have a promising future. “One day I would like to see the choir competing at the South African Tertiary Institution Choral Music Association competitions,” he said, adding that he would also like to see an increase in the number of members.

Montsho, who is currently reading for an MSc in Applied Mathematics at Rhodes, said that while the common interest is choral music, “the choir accepts everyone who has an interest in the music, even if they have never sung before, and works from there”.

Montsho embodies this outlook, as he has not studied music formally but has been passionate about it for years. “What I love about the choir is that we all come together and do something that we are all passionate about. Even with the workload of our studies there are students willing to sacrifice their spare time for this and that really means a lot to me,” he said.

Apart from sharing their love of music, choir members also aim to promote awareness about the range of activities offered at Rhodes. “Most people think Rhodes is just about academics, but we try and show them that there is a lot to get involved with here besides studies,” he said.

The choir made their debut at Rhodes University on 14 May 2011, followed by performances during community engagement week on campus during August. The choir is also teaching choral folk songs to learners at Amasango Career School as part of their community engagement project.

Founded in 2009 by Rhodes students Thanduxolo Fatyi, Phelisa Qina, Hleze Kunju, Bulelwa Mjila and Simthembile Xeketwana, the choir comprises 45 Rhodes students who share a common passion for choral music.

Gracing our stages at various events around Grahamstown lately, the RU Melodies is a Rhodes-based choir that is spreading its members’ love for choral and opera music one note at a time.

Story by Sarah-Jane Bradfield

Photo by Sophie Smith



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