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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

‘Celebrating the music of our times’
2013-07-25

 

25 July 2013

The Odeion School of Music’s (OSM) New Music Week, hosted from 17–20 July 2013, offered an experience of profundity.

This was the second week-long festival of its kind to be hosted by the OSM – last year the 90th birthday of the South African composer, Stefans Grové, was celebrated with concerts and a symposium. This year the New Music Week focused on the visit of Ensemble Trans-Z under the artistic leadership of former OSM student, Alfred Vorster, a composer living in Zürich. The Order of the Odeion School of Music was bestowed upon Vorster during the festival. The members of the ensemble are the Belgian pianist Lukas Huisman, Danré Strydom (currently an OSM doctoral student in clarinet, based in Ghent), the Argentinian violinist Juan Braceras and the Swedish cellist Karolina Öhman (both currently living in Basel, Switzerland).

The week included three lectures. Lukas Huisman elucidated his doctoral project, Alfred Vorster offered an analytical perspective on the work of Helmut Lachenmann and Hannes Taljaard (Potchefstroom) delivered a commentary on his own composition practice. In addition to presenting masters’ classes in their individual instruments, Ensemble Trans-Z also hosted two workshops – one for the Mangaung String Project and another for OSM students and staff. These workshops focused on creative improvisation practices within an avant-garde style.

The highlight of the festival was two gala concerts that were held on 19 and 20 July. The first concert was hosted by Ensemble Trans-Z themselves, with a selection of compositions in the avant-garde style. The programme included challenging listening material and was creatively presented with unconventional lighting techniques and visual material.

The concert on 20 July consisted of New Music of a more conventional nature. The Odeion String Quartet offered a varied presentation which consisted of a rich mix of talent. OSM postgraduate students Marianne Cilliers, Karol Legierski and Eljee du Plooy formed part of this spectacular performance. The OSM flute lecturer, Handri Loots and the members of Ensemble Trans-Z supplied additional depth to the concert. The experience was made extra special by the recently-formed New Music Ensemble of the School of Music at the North-West University – led by Augusto Arias. Under conductorship of Jan-Moritz Onken, the OSM Camerata completed this impressive collaboration.

The Camerata’s recital of Hendrik Hofmeyr’s Phantom Waltz, which the composer newly arranged especially for this ensemble, was but one of the artistic highlights of an inspiring presentation.

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