The South Cape Children’s Choir (SCCC), a regional children’s choir based in George, has been awarded 1st Prize cum laude at the 64th European Festival for Young People in Belgium.
Twenty–seven European countries were represented, and the South Cape Children’s Choir – representing 14 schools from 4 towns – was the only choir from Africa to be invited to participate. The choir travelled the furthest of all participants – some 16 500 kilometers – to attend the prestigious event.
The SCCC also participated in the winners’ laureate concert, a flag parade, a concert on live Belgian TV, as well as a “friendship” concert in the Palethe Concert Hall in Neerpelt, where the event took place.
The choir also performed in Brussels and Antwerp before returning home in early May.
The South Cape Children’s Choir, situated along the picturesque Garden Route of South Africa, is a proud product of the worldwide amateur regional children’s choir movement. It was founded in 1996 and since its inception has undertaken five concert tours of Europe, recorded nine cd’s, enjoyed regular national radio and television exposure, and has shared the stage with many prestigious international choirs and performing artists.
The SCCC comprises 60 auditioned choristers between the ages of 12 and 16, selected from 13 schools in the region, who rehearse every Friday afternoon for 3 ½ hours, under the musical direction of their conductor, Jan-Erik Swart. Mr Swart holds an M.Mus degree (cum laude) in choral conducting from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth.
The choir has received many accolades and awards including the coveted Kanna award for Best Musical Production at the 2013 Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, competing against 25 professional groups. In 2010, the choir won the ATKV Animato South African National Choral Competition, and has three times been awarded a national second place.