03 January 2020 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Supplied
The UFS Bloemfontein Campus, South Campus, and Qwaqwa Campus choirs are student-centred choirs functioning under the Student Affairs’ Arts, Culture and Dialogue office.

It has been a noteworthy year for the University of the Free State (UFS) Choir, establishing itself on the student/university choir scene. The choir, based on the Bloemfontein Campus, represented the UFS at the bi-annual KUESTA choir festival earlier this year, showcasing its musical talent. The choir shared a stage with other university choirs from around the country.   

The UFS (Bloemfontein Campus) Choir is a 42-member ensemble of students; the other two choirs, based on the South and Qwaqwa campuses, consist of 40 and 62 members respectively. The choirs are administered and managed by the Division of Student Affairs’ Arts, Culture and Dialogue Office. In addition to Kovsie culture, the choirs strive to have a varied repertoire of inclusive music, with the UFS BFN Campus choir performing a diversity of songs in English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa, and Sesotho. 
The new South Campus choir was established in 2018 and is led by choir director, Bonisile Gcisa, who specialises in choral music. This leg of the choir will therefore perform many of his works, but will also include some of the Bloemfontein choir’s set lists, since most of the choir members will be auditioning in 2021 for the Bfn choir when they change campuses. 
The Qwaqwa Campus choir will lean more towards a choral genre under the direction of Sipho Khumalo. 
The UFS Bloemfontein Campus choir was officially re-established under the leadership of choir conductor Leona Geldenhuys in March 2018, and has performed at several events, including the Rector’s Concert, the annual KUESTA choir convention, and the Bloemfontein Choir invitational. The group has also held a number of public performances on the Thakaneng Bridge at the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.  
“Part of the UFS Student Affairs’ objective is to create an inclusive and a socially just student lived experience, and that is the mandate the choirs will also adopt. We hope to create an experience that not only enhances our students’ singing abilities, but also contribute to a more inclusive university experience.” – Angelo Mockie – Director: UFS Student Affairs Arts, Culture and Dialogue office. 

“Rest well, be safe, and return rejuvenated,” were his parting words to students for the festive season. 

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