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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

UFS hosts a successful New Music Indaba
2015-08-18

  

Held at the University of the Free State’s Odeion School of Music (OSM), the NewMusicSA’s New Music Indaba 2015 featured works which Clare Loveday described as “breathtaking, discreet, and perfectly balanced.”

Loveday, one of South Africa’s acclaimed music critics and was Composer-in-Residence for the annual Johannesburg International Mozart Festival, attended the Indaba from 21-26 July 2015. In a review of Saturday’s gala concert, she referred to recitals of this nature as an “essential part of the South African musical landscape, providing musicians and composers a space in which to express their world.”

Staff and students of the OSM were extensively involved in facilitating the festivities as a symbol of commitment to South Africa and international contemporary art music. The OSM Camerata under the baton of Xavier Cloete performed two works by South African composer Hendrik Hofmeyr well as a work by young Argentinian composer Diego Soifer entitled Mille Regretz .The festival featured music theory lectures, a variety of workshops, roundtable discussions ,concerts as well as an outreach programme.

Loveday described the highlight of her Indaba experience as “A delicate construction of sounds and silences that drew the listener into a focused and intense sound world,” a highlight created by the visiting German composer, Charlotte Seither’s “Far From Distance” for piano, clarinet, and cello. The concert evening culminated with Diale Mabitsela's "Friday Nights at Six," adding to the spectacular nature of the festival.

Throughout the week, classical chamber works featuring South African New Music Ensemble (SANME), the Choir of Christ Church Arcadia, and the Odeion Vocal Consort were performed and well-received. Bringing the five-day event to a conclusion was a choral mass at the Bloemfontein Anglican Cathedral, featuring an “Agnus Dei” written by George T. King.
 
Douglas Scott, Curator of the 2015 Indaba, reflected on it as a great success, saying that, “most of the participants agreed the event was a wonderful opportunity simply to hear different voices from the composition community juxtaposed with one another.”

From Scott’s perspective, the principal goal was to foster communication between artists with different visions, and to reach out to the local community.

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