Sam van Heerden
The Rhodes University Chamber Choir (RUCC) has sung their way into the semi-finals of Varsity Sing, a national choir competition organised by Varsity Sports and kykNET. Despite being smaller than their competitors, the choir has risen to the challenge.
Rhodes University will be up against UWC, Maties and NMMU in Cape Town on 14 September at the second semi-final round.
Varsity Sing invited the choir to participate in the competition at the end of last year, and they have worked towards it since then. The first qualifying around was regional, with three universities competing in each round in the Eastern Cape, the Western Cape and Gauteng for a place in the semi-finals. With just 30 members, about half the size of the other varsity choirs, there were technicalities RUCC had to work around under the conductorship of Dr Andrew-John Bethke.
The choir’s repertoire includes sacred and secular music in many different languages. According to their website, it is an eclectic mix of music which ranges from ancient Gregorian chant, through sixteenth century to contemporary and traditional styles: “The aim of the Rhodes Choir is to promote all repertoires in order to retain the traditional and old and blend it with new and non-Western additions to the choral repertoire.”
The RUCC will visit Windhoek and Swakopmund, and will perform at three main concerts as well as visiting old age homes, churches and schools. During the tour they will join the choir from the University of Namibia in both separate and conjoined performances in order to establish a greater connection between the universities. The RUCC will also be connecting with Rhodes Alumni in the region.
According to their website: “This tour will  give the RUCC the opportunity to share South Africa’s rich culture and heritage to the Namibian audience. We will look to enhance the already excellent reputation of Rhodes University.”
Look out for the RUCC’s local concerts and be sure to check into Varsity Sing which airs every Thursday at 20:30 on kykNET.Source: Communications
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