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Monday, January 22, 2018


(The Pietermaritzburg Children’s Choir)

The Pietermaritzburg Children’s Choir (PMBCC) will be holding auditions for new choir members for 2018. Any children between the ages of 9 and 15 are welcome to audition.

The auditions will be held in the Music Room at Epworth Prep School, from 16h00 to 17h00, on the following days:
Wednesday, January 24
Wednesday, January 31
Wednesday, February 7

The Pietermaritzburg Children’s Choir was founded in 1988 by Henrietta Jacobsohn. Thereafter Rykie Boeke became the choir director and was awarded the Certificate of Commendation for her contribution to the field of music by Nelson Mandela. It is a regional choir which draws its choir members from many different backgrounds from the greater Pietermaritzburg area and thus its diversity is representative of our city and our country. The choir consists of pupils aged between 9 and 16 who audition and are carefully selected. It is a non-profit organisation chiefly run by its conductor, Simon Bester; accompanist, Anne Duthie; co-ordinator Marianne Taylor and Parent Committee

Under Simon’s charismatic leadership, the choir continues to grow in expertise and skill. Its repertoire includes classical, traditional and contemporary songs which the children delight in singing. However, they learn so much more than choral singing: they learn about friendship, self-discipline, commitment, responsibility and team
The highlight for any choir is to perform for the public. In 2006, under the expertise and guidance of Rykie Boeke, the choir went on tour in Europe. They sang in the villages, towns and cities of Germany, Czechoslovakia and Hungary and received a standing ovation for their superb performance of the South African National Anthem in Dresden. The aim of the tour was to promote cross-
cultural contact through the universal language of music.

In 2014, the Pietermaritzburg Children’s Choir participated in the 8th WORLD CHOIR GAMES in Riga, Latvia, achieving three Silver Diplomas.

The choir practices once a week during the school term in the Epworth Prep School Assembly Room from 17h15 to 19h15. All choir practices are compulsory unless there is a valid reason. In addition to the regular practices the choir runs workshops which entail extra practice on a Saturday when deemed necessary by the choral conductor. The dates will be given in advance. A compulsory camp is held each year and is excluded from the monthly fees. Parents are asked to help with transport.

The choir performs at a variety of functions throughout the year. When the choir travels to a performance outside of Pietermaritzburg, it remains as a unit.  Where possible, all members travel in a bus to and from the concert.

The two-year commitment requires a great deal of hard work on the part of the musical director to train a voice. Both the choir, as a whole, and the individual member may only realise the rewards and benefits from this training period if he/she stays on beyond the first year.

A registration fee of R500 is payable. This covers the cost of the music file and choir T-shirt. There is also a once off R200 uniform Levy which covers the use of the Formal Choir Uniform. However, these items remain the property of the choir and must be returned when the chorister leaves the choir.

A monthly fee of R380 for 12 months of the year is payable. This amount covers the general running costs of the choir but excludes the cost of the camp and tours

A committee is elected annually at the AGM to run the choir in conjunction with the choral director in accordance with the constitution. The choir is a non-profit organisation. Parents are encouraged to support all fundraising efforts.

Should your child be selected to sing in the Pietermaritzburg Children’s Choir, you will be notified via email.

For more information contact Marianne Taylor, PMBCC Co-ordinator, on 082 578 1084 (between 15h00 and 20h00) or visit