The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) choir consists of 55 members, both students and alumni, who come from different walks of life. The choir prides itself in being multi-cultural in both membership and the music it performs. Since its inception in 1994 the choir has gained a reputation for its unique ability to successfully interpret both Western and African repertoire and has since become sought after at choral festivals internationally.
Between 1994 and 2004, this acclaimed multi-cultural choir enjoyed numerous national and international invitations and successes, performing before President Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth II and participating in the FICU International University Choir Festival, Valencia (Spain), the Centennial Celebrations of Philippines and the Voices International Choir Festival in Trondheim (Norway). In 2000 the Choir featured in a film based on the life of Nelson Mandela commissioned by Norway and filmed on Robben Island.
In 2007 the NMMU Choir performed in Jacksonville, Florida (a Port Elizabeth sister city) as well as with Chicago Children’s Choir and the Lyric Opera Orchestra at the Civic Theatre, Chicago, for the world premiere of Windy City Songs by South African composer Péter Louis van Dijk. They also performed at the Ravinia Festival (Chicago) and in Hyde Park (New York State). In 2008 the choir performed Vivaldi’s Gloria and Van Dijk’s Windy City Songs with both the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (Cape Town) and the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (Port Elizabeth) under the baton of Péter Louis van Dijk.
The choir won the 2009 choir competition in Spittal-an-der-Drau, Austria and was highly acclaimed by all who attended. They also won the publicum prize as the most liked choir by the concert attendees. In 2010 they were invited to partake in prestigious Fabbrica Del Canto Choir Competition in Northern Italy. As no university funding was available, the choir costs were fully sponsored by the organizers. Once again they were singled out as one of the top performances. (They also performed at the opening of the FIFA World Cup activities in Milano before the Sky news, BBC, RA 1 and regional television stations). The choir has cut one very successful CD/DVD and are presently doing another DVD for release by June.
This year the choir is very privileged to be selected as one of 24 choirs (chosen from 120 choirs from five continents) as the ONLY choir from South Africa to perform at the prestigious IFCM’s 9th World Choral Symposium in Puerto Madryn, Argentina in August 2011. This is one of the most important events on the international choral calendar and is scheduled every 3 years in a different country and preferably a different continent. More recently the choir received an invitation as one of five choirs (each from a different continent) to represent Africa at the 11th China International Choral Festival and IFCM World Choral Summit in Beijing, China in July 2012. The theme of this global initiative will be Voices in Harmony.
The Choir has a CD/DVD and will release a new DVD by the end of June 2011. The choir is directed by the well-known conductor and academic, Junita Lambrecht van Dijk and resorts under the Department of Marketing and Corporate Relations at NMMU.
Address: NMMU Campus, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth
Contact: Junita Lamprecht van Dijk (Director)
Phone: 041 504 2623