ABOUT TUKS CAMERATA

52 Years of Choral Excellence

The TUKS Camerata is one of the four official choirs of the University of Pretoria.

"TUKS" as the university is colloquially known is an institution that welcomes students from all walks of life. The choir was established in 1968 and celebrates 53 years in 2021. We have seen many changes alongside our beautiful country.

The TUKS Camerata has received many national and international accolades throughout the years. The choir’s mission is to contribute towards the cultural development of the student body, to enrich the broader community by means of choral singing and to act as cultural ambassadors of the University of Pretoria.

The TUKS Camerata falls under the auspices of the University of Pretoria Arts Department in the Faculty of Humanities and consists of approximately 80 full-time students from a variety of study fields including medicine, engineering, education, economics, accounting, law, languages and music.

The choir, much like our country, is richly diverse and we strive to be a reflection of the rainbow nation that is South Africa. We perform a variety of genres and styles and aim to be a versatile instrument in itself. Our motto is to always be extraordinary.

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HISTORY

A Tradition of Excellence

The Camerata was officially established on 20 March 1968.

Our mission is to make a contribution towards the cultural development of the student corps and the cultural enrichment of the community by means of choral singing.


The choir also endeavours to promote a worthy image of the University of Pretoria by striving towards the highest possible artistic standards, together with a code of conduct that meets the highest requirements of companionship. Each conductor always employs high artistic values.


The choir has previously been conducted by:

  • Adolf Theron

  • Willem van Tonder

  • Petru Gräbe

  • Prof. Johann van der Sandt (January 1999 – June 2008)

  • Richter Grimbeek (from August 2008; as interim)

  • Christo Burger (January 2009 – June 2012)

  • Walter Butt (from July 2012; as interim)

  • Dr. Michael Barrett (April 2013 – present)

 
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RECENT ACHIEVEMENTS

Camerata through the decades

 

2020:

  • Participated in a virtual choir project alongside the Barnsley Youth Choir

  • Conducted online interviews with prominent choral conductors and composers like Eric Whitacre, Stacey Gibss, Ralf Scmhitt and Mat Wright

2019:

  • Performed at the GHOEMA Musiek Toekenings (Music Awards), Sun Arena Times Square

  • Performed alongside Nataniel in his concert Classic Nataniel.

2018:

  • Performed at the opening and closing ceremonies of the World Choir Games 2018 Tshwane, Sun Arena Times Square

  • Indodana nominated for South African Music Awards (SAMA)

2017:

  • Named Champions at the Grand Prix of Nations in Riga, Latvia

  • Performed at the 11th World Choral Symposium on Choral Music to be held in Barcelona, Spain

2016:

  • Performed at the KykNET Fiëstas Awards Ceremony, Pretoria State Theatre;

  • Performed with Joshua na die Reën and Corlea Botha at the inniBos Festival at the Sudwala Caves;

  • Appear on Joshua na die Reën’s latest CD “Die Wêreld binne my”.

2015:

  • Phoenix nominated for a South African Music Award (SAMA);

  • Invited to participate in Super Skouspel with special UK guest artist Susan Boyle, FNB Stadiu, Soweto;

  • Participated at Kuesta University Choirs Festival hosted by NMMU, Port Elizabeth

2014:

  • Performed at the KykNET Fiëstas Awards Ceremony, Pretoria State Theatre;

  • Live performance on Morning Live SABC2 Breakfast TV Show;

  • Named Champions at the 8th World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia;

  • Performed at the National Department of Sport and Recreation’s Indigenous Games Gala Dinner;

  • Represented the University of Pretoria at the Huisgenoot Skouspel music extravaganza at Sun City;

  • Released CD - Phoenix;

2013:

  • Performed at the memorial service of former President Nelson Mandela, UP Campus;

  • Invited to participate in the prestigious RMB Starlight Classics with international Welsh soprano Katherine Jenkins, among others, conducted by Richard Cock and directed by Ian von Memerty;

2012:

  • Released CD, Voices of Autumn;

  • Performed at the re-opening of the Aula, UP.

2010:

  • Bratislava Advent and Christmas Music Festival, Winners in the Adult Mixed Choirs category;

OUR CONDUCTOR

"Be extraordinary"

 
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DR MICHAEL BARRETT

Dr Michael Joseph Barrett is the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Pretoria (UP), the conductor of the Tuks Camerata and a senior lecturer in choral conducting in the department of music. He was a member of the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir from 1992 to 1997. He obtained the degrees BMus in Performing Arts (cum laude) in 2005 and MMus (Performing Arts), specialising in choral conducting from UP. He holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from UNISA and a Performance Licentiate in Singing (2008). In 2017, Michael completed his doctorate in Choral Performance at the University of Pretoria.

Michael’s choirs have won numerous national and international awards and have participated in competitions globally. Some of these include the Grand Prix of Nations (Latvia 2018), the 8th World Choir Games (Latvia 2014); St Petersburg Choral Competition (Russia 2013); Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod (Wales 2012); Krakow International Advent Choral Competition (Poland 2012); Europe and its Songs (Spain 2010); and the International Youth Music Festival (Slovakia 2010).


In 2017, The University of Pretoria Camerata was invited to Barcelona (Spain) to perform at the 11th World Symposium of Choral Music, hosted by the International Federation on Choral Music. The Camerata has also been nominated for two South African Music Awards and released three albums under his direction.

Michael is also an active composer and arranger. His music is internationally published by Santa Barbara Music Publishers as well as Walton Music. He is regularly invited to give workshops and adjudicate choral competitions both nationally and internationally. He regularly attends symposia and conferences all over the world to remain at the forefront of choral music education.

Sheet Music

MEET THE COMMITTEE

"Sorry, I can't, I have choir" 
- A Committee Proverb

 
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HENDRIK VAN DER POLL

Chairperson

Field of Study:
MSc (Masters) Chemistry

CURRENT MEMBERS

Doing What They Love

Membership of the choir is open to all registered students of the University of Pretoria younger than 30 years.

Candidates need to successfully pass an audition in order to be accepted into the choir.

The exact number of choristers differs between choir years. 

 
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SOPRANOS

Soprano 1

Almi Lamey

Behandri van Tonder

Irené Liebenberg

Juandi Boshoff

Kate Watson

Kaylee van der Byl

Mikayla Appel

Soprano 2

Bothlale-ba-Modimo Mmope

Caroli Dyer

Carolyn De Kock

Christina Firkins

Lené de Jager

Megan Pluke

Nerine Luies

Suzanne Sutherland

Trisha-lee Moses

Zydra Hattingh