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18 September 2018 Photo Hanno Otto
Consecutive international win for OSM Camerata
The OSM Camerata is once again a winner, sharing the first prize in the Ictus International Music Competition with the Oklahoma State University.

If Einstein’s string theory had a musical undertone, one would think it is because of the sweet melodies of the Odeion School of Music Cameratas’ (OSMC) violins and cellos. It should therefore come as no surprise that OSMC won the 2018 International Ictus Music Competition, again. The ensemble has been paving the way to numerous successes since its inception in 2012.

This year, however, the OSMC is sharing the first prize with the Oklahoma State University Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr Thomas Dickey. The OSMC’s competition recital for 2018 was conducted by principle conductor, Xavier Cloete. Acclaimed violist Elsabé Raath, joined the OSMC artistic team in 2017 as string clinician.

OSMC the jewel in crown

The OSMC is based at the Odeion School of Music (OSM) at the University of the Free State UFS) and was strategically founded as the OSM’s flagship ensemble with the main objective, creating a catalyst for excellence. “From a pedagogical perspective, it serves as a feasible incubator to nurture fully-rounded musicians who are thoroughly prepared for the demands of their trade as orchestral musicians, soloists and conductors,” said Marius Coetzee founder of the OSMC.

“Ms Raath also made her debut as conductor during the 2018 Ictus Music Competition where she conducted O Sacrum Convivium by Olivier Messiaen,” said Coetzee, founder of the OSMC. Elsabé was also conductor during the 2018 Ictus Music competition.

The OSMC’s concert programme for Ictus 2018 also consisted of works by Jacobus Gallus/Lance Phillip, Béla Bartók, Peteris Vasks/Keith Moss, as well as Johann Sebastian Bach.

Ictus an ideal platform


The Ictus International Music Competition is an online music competition for wind bands, orchestras and solo trumpet. It has been described by David Bilger of the Philadelphia Orchestra as “democratising music competitions”. Ictus was founded to make international music competitions more accessible though eliminating prohibitive travel costs, conference fees and visa issues. This was made possible through having the application and adjudication take place online only. 

You can listen to OMSC Ictus submissions here:

Duo Seraphim Jabobus Gallus/Lance Phillip
Romanian Folk Dances/ Román népi táncok Béla Bartók
Kekatu Dziesma (Carnival Song) Peteris Vasks/Keith Moss

News Archive

New Head for the School of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology Education
2013-02-27

27 February 2013

Prof Sechaba Mahlomoholo from the Faculty of Education at the University of the Free State was recently appointed as Head of the School of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology Education (SMNSTE).

As head of the school, his duties will include improving the learning, teaching and curricula of maths, natural sciences and technology at school and at post-school levels.

“The solution seems to be to move the SMNSTE into a very intensive praxis mode where, through our high-level research-based classroom practices, we can formulate strategies together with teachers, parents, learners and the Department of Education, to enhance learner performance in the abovementioned subjects. Our plan, therefore, is to facilitate the establishment of closely knit learning communities of practice around these three subjects, with the SMNSTE being the epicentre of thought and action, while schools, mainly in the Free State, will serve as other nodal points for this intensive praxis. We believe that the SMNSTE will come to its fullness once student and learner performance is respectable, and as such positions our country favourably among the community of nations. SMNSTE is a national facility which has to respond to national challenges effectively.”

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