Pro Cantu Youth Choir  in concert with the Mississippi College Choir and the UCT Choir

Venue:                          Jameson Hall, Upper Campus, UCT

Date:                             Wedneday 18 May

Time:                             6:30pm

Tickets (Unreserved):       R50 / R20 (pensioners, students)

Tickets available at the door and at W Heuer, Cavendish

The Pro Cantu Youth Choir is proud to provide an opportunity for young South Africans to sing in a choir of the highest international standards whilst delivering a moving musical experience to its audiences. Choir rehearsals (twice a week) provide an opportunity for young people from all population groups to meet, form friendships and make incredible music. Pro Cantu rehearses at the DF Malan High School in Bellville and draws its members from all over the Cape Peninsula.

Anyone between the ages of 14 and 25 that have passed the audition can become a member of the choir.

Since its start in 1997, Pro Cantu has proven itself both in South Africa and on the international stage.

  • The first accolade that the choir received was in July 1998 when Pro Cantu was declared the overall winner of the Pretoria International Choir Competition under the leadership of choirmaster André van der Merwe.
  • The following year (1999) the choir won the Cape Town Chamber of Commerce choir competition. The choir released its first CD that displayed the interesting variety of musical styles which the choir is able to perform.
  • At the 2000 Choir Olympics in Linz, Austria Pro Cantu won a gold medal and was placed fourth in the Mixed Youth Choir category. The second CD released by Pro Cantu ended a proud and successful year.
  • 2002 proved to be another highlight for Pro Cantu. The choir participated in the 56th annual Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales in a number of categories. Following stunning performances in these categories, Pro Cantu was awarded first places in two folk song and the youth choir categories and a second place in the mixed choir category. The crowning achievement of the Eisteddfod was when Pro Cantu was named “Choir of the World”. In addition, the choir won the W S Gwynn Williams Trophy. Pro Cantu’s third CD, “Magic Songs” was released at the end of this year.
  • At the end of 2003 Andre van der Merwe bade the choir farewell and a new conductor, Leon Starker was appointed.
  • In 2004 the choir undertook a very successful concert tour of Namibia. The following year Pro Cantu’s fourth CD, “Precious Lord” saw the light. This cd has since been sold out.
  • In 2006 the choir won a gold medal and achieved a second place in the Mixed Youth Choir category of the 4th World Choir Games (formerly known as the Choir Olympics) in Xiamen, China in June 2006. In addition to that the choir also won two silver medals in the folk song and religions of the world categories. They also undertook a very successful concert tour of Malaysia before taking part in the competition. The choir’s latest CD, “Lux Aurumque”, consists of the music they presented on this tour and at the competition.
  • In 2007 Pro Cantu received an invitation to take part in a performance of “The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace” by composer Karl Jenkins in Carnegie Hall, New York! As a result of generous donations, they were able to perform on one of the most famous stages in the world in January 2008!
  • Pro Cantu took part in the 5th World Choir Games in Graz, Austria in July 2008. This is the largest choir competition in the world and also one of the most prestigious for amateur choirs. At this competition they were awarded two gold medals. Together with other category winners they also received the title “World Choir Games Champion” when they won the Musica Sacra category.
  • Before participation in the competition in Graz, Pro Cantu undertook a concert tour in England and had wonderful concerts in Salisbury Cathedral and in St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
  • In 2009 Pro Cantu performed Arvo Pärt’s St John Passion to critical acclaim in Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Oudtshoorn.
  • In 2010 the choir performed Rachmaninov’s Night Vigil, or Vespers, in Afrikaans countrywide.

The repertoire of Pro Cantu has enabled the choir to present a programme of varied choral works over the years – Renaissance to varied folk song traditions to challenging 20th century choir music. In addition, the choir has also sung many works of well-known South African composers, all of whom have made their mark in the choir world, people like Péter Louis van Dijk, Mzilikazi Khumalo, Hendrik Hofmeyr, Sidumo Jacobs, Peter Klatzow, Mokoale Koapeng, Hans Roosenschoon and Roelof Temmingh.

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