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New format for Kleinsêr at SU

Kleinsêr, a beloved tradition at Stellenbosch University (SU) which attracts crowds from far and wide every year, will be presented in a brand new format.

KuKo, the Culture Committee of the SU’s Student Representative Council (SRC) has created a new format for the competition which has recently been renamed SU A Capella (SUAC).

“Building on the rich singing culture at SU, dating back to 1946 when the first ever singing competition at the University, known as Sangfees, was held, SUAC promises to be an exciting and innovative student competition,” says Blaine Josephs, KuKo chairperson and SRC member for arts and culture.

“SUAC celebrates diversity, a South African identity, culture, new boundaries, expression, and builds on the success of the university’s strong singing tradition.”

SUAC differs from previous years in that it emphasises inclusivity and promotes musicality. It was introduced to replace the Kleinsêr competition in order to remain relevant and future focused among the student body.

Proof of the popularity of the a cappella at SU is the fact that 34 ensembles have entered the competition in three categories; male, female and mixed ensembles, explains Josephs.

“The competition embodies a wide range of genres and languages and strives to be ‘locally relevant and internationally excellent’. This the ensembles will set out to do by promoting South African music and developing young, local talent.”

The competition has become the first a cappella competition to be hosted by the University. Ensembles were previously permitted to use a wide variety of instruments in their performances, whereas in the new set of rules, only non-pitched percussion instruments are allowed.

Ensembles are also required to perform a South African song which can be in any of the eleven official languages, as well as an own composition.

For the whole of August, the Endler Hall will play host to the competition wherein groups will battle it out to be victorious in the three main categories; male, female, mixed and in various other categories. These other categories include Best Rendition of a South African Song, Best Own Composition, Best Soloist, Best Choreography and the Harry Frauenstein Award for Best Arrangement.

Judging the competition will be South African baritone Barend van der Westhuizen, the conductor for the South African Youth Choir Phil Robinson, jazz singer Babalwa Mentjies, and South African Mezzo-Soprano Christine Bam, under the supervision of head judge South African Soprano Janel Speelman.

The SUAC semi-finals are on 23 and 24 August while the final is on 29 August.

Tickets are available at the Endler Hall between 12:00 and 14:00 (Monday to Friday). Tickets for the semi-finals will go on sale on 20 August from 10:00 to 14:00 (limited to four tickets per person). Tickets for finals will go on sale on 27 August at 06:00 and can be purchased at the SRC Offices in the Neelsie Student Centre (limited to two tickets per person).

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