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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

University grooms future leaders
2013-02-28

Nangamso Koza, volunteers and learners who participated in the RCL training programme.
Photo: Linda Fekisi
28 February 2013

The UFS recently hosted a group of Representative Council of Learners (RCL) from 24 high schools in the Free State. The learners participated in a RCL training programme, the first of its kind, which will take place on a quarterly basis.

The learners were welcomed by Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the university. Prof Jansen emphasised the need for academic excellence in his welcoming speech, telling learners not to settle for a pass rate of 30%. He motivated them to study hard in order to reap rewards, regardless of their disadvantaged backgrounds. He told them about first-year student, Zandile Kwela and others, who excelled in the 2012 matric exams despite disadvantaged backgrounds.

Nangamso Koza, Research Assistant in the office of the Vice-Rector: External Relations, who helped to coordinate the programme, said leadership development is vital, as early as the basic education phase. “The objective was to offer the RCL some of the skills and knowledge we have, to enable them to dream out of the box."

Mr Pura Mgolombane, Assistant-Dean of Student Affairs, shared what student leadership is all about, the values that a leader needs to have and the relevant constitutional documentation and acts they need to know.

Madineo Mofokeng, an RCL member from Excelsior Combined School, describes her experience as a great one. “I learnt many things that will help me improve my school. I also learnt that by believing in yourself, you can do anything you put your mind to,” she added.


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