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29 January 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Anja Aucamp
Prof Francis Petersen speech
“We can create an institution that operates and lives in the times of embracing and celebrating diversity, inclusivity, and academic excellence by ensuring that students own their time at university,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

25 January 2019 marked the official welcoming of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) first-year students, as they moved into their respective residences and were warmly welcomed on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. This day also marked the start of the registration process for first-year students.

According to first-year Psychology student Keisha Claasen, who moved into her residence earlier on 25 January, her first experience of the UFS was daunting but exciting, as she had never been in a similar environment. According to Given Gwerera, who dropped his son off at the Karee residence earlier the day, “the UFS is an institution with great culture and an overall good academic record.” He further explained that he trusts his son to make full use of the opportunities presented to him, as he has a cool head on his shoulders.

On the evening of 25 January, an eager group of millennials, joined by their parents, took the first sip from their cup of varsity life as they assembled on the Red Square of the Bloemfontein Campus to meet the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, members of Rectorate, the deans of all faculties, and the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the UFS.

“2019 will be a year of continued change; the UFS is thrilled about the prospect of bringing about opportunities for adaptation and realignment to the future,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

He further explained that the university prides itself in moulding its students into well-rounded individuals who will develop into globally competitive graduates as required in a diversity of landscapes. Prof Petersen urged first-years to remain open to the technological developments that go with globalisation, because of its permanent effects on society today.

First-years were further advised to take advantage of the rich pool of academic research and knowledge that is characteristic of the university and is piloted by UFS scholars, by engaging with and learning from them.

The inspiring night concluded on a colourful note, as the audience enjoyed an artistic laser show in front of the Main Building. Caption:

“UFS academics conduct research that forces the world to take note,” said Prof Francis Petersen at the official first-year welcoming ceremony on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

OSM Camerata among final six in international online competition
2017-08-28

 Description: OSM Camerata Tags: Odeion School of Music Camerata, International Ictus Music Competition, Stilian Kirov, ensembles, orchestras 

The Odeion School of Music Camerata at the University of
the Free State celebrated its fifth birthday in May 2017.
Photo: Supplied 

One of six – and the only contender from outside the United States of America. This is the extent of the achievement by the Odeion School of Music Camerata (OSMC) – one of six finalists in the 2017 International Ictus Music Competition.
The OSMC at the University of the Free State reached the final round of the competition, of which the winners will be announced on 1 September 2017. The competition is an innovative new online competition for ensembles, orchestras, and band/wind ensembles (middle school, high school, youth ensemble, community ensemble, and college/conservatory/university) that compete through video submission.

Odeion concert recorded as entry
The OSMC celebrated its fifth birthday on 31 May 2017, hosting a concert as part of the first round of the competition in the Odeion on the Bloemfontein Campus. The concert, which also served as a fundraising opportunity, consisted of a carefully curated concert programme which was recorded and submitted to the Ictus panel.

The repertoire for the concert, supported by a Concerts SA grant from the Samro Music Foundation, was commissioned from South African composers. Maestri Xavier Cloete and Gerhard de Jager served as conductors.

Substantial money prizes can be won, and ensembles will receive written feedback from a jury consisting of renowned maestri including Stilian Kirov, who was awarded 1st Prize in the Debut Berlin Competition on 18 May 2017. Top prize-winners will be interviewed and interviews will be broadcasted internationally.


Five years of many highlights

The OSMC was strategically founded in 2012 by Marius Coetzee as the OSM’s flagship chamber ensemble, with the main objective of creating a catalyst for excellence.

Over the past five years, the OSMC has premiered 15 new works by South African composers specially commissioned for them. A highlight remains its participation in the 13th International Conservatory Festival in St Petersburg Russia, where the ensemble received a standing ovation during a gala concert in the Glazunov Concert Hall.

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