Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s choir has managed to harmonise their way into the finals of the first Varsity Sing competition, sponsored by FNB. The announcement was made last night during the second semifinal broadcast of the competition on kykNET, DSTV Channel 144.
NMMU will be joining the University of Stellenbosch’s Maties, the University of Johannesburg and University of Pretoria’s Tuks Camerata in one final choral bout to determine the ultimate winner. The finals will be broadcast live on Thursday.
NMMU choir conductor Junita Lamprecht-Van Dyk said they were excited about making it to the finals and were looking to bring exposure to the Eastern Cape as a whole.
“We are absolutely delighted about making it thus far and we have been receiving wonderful responses from the audience.
“We are fairly well known overseas but don’t seem to have the same presence in South Africa, so this [competition] is wonderful exposure for NMMU, for our city and for the Eastern Cape,” she said.
The competition began in July with a total of 12 participating universities and a 12-week process of elimination has resulted in just four choirs fighting it out for top honours.
Among the judges are seasoned musician Loyiso Bala, decorated conductor Christo Burger and Cape Town Opera chorus master Marvin Kernelle. A fourth celebrity guest judge joins them each week.
Lamprecht-Van Dyk said the choir had had a fairly good stretch in the competition so far and stood a good chance of being the victors.
“Our programme is well constructed and our performances so far have been of a very high standard, both musically and technically. But one never knows, such is the nature of competitions.”
She cites their performance at the semifinals in Cape Town as a major highlight.
“It wasn’t our home town so we didn’t have much of an audience, it was mainly Stellenbosch supporters, but we managed to get two standing ovations for our Nelson Mandela Medley and our Bohemian Rhapsody.
“I think we were the only choir to receive standing ovations and we were really thrilled about that.”
The public also have a chance to choose a favourite choir.
Voting for the FNB Fan Favourite opened yesterday. You can vote by downloading the Varsity Sports App and selecting your choice of choir.
Only one vote a day can be cast. Voting will remain open until 10pm on Thursday.