Biography of University of Pretoria Camerata:
The University of Pretoria Camerata, a mixed choir comprising 65 students, was officially established in 1968. Its mission is to contribute towards the cultural development of the student body, to enrich the broader community by means of choral singing, and to act as cultural ambassadors of the University of Pretoria. The choir operates under the auspices of the Department of Music of the University. Prof. Petru Gräbe conducted the choir from 1979 to 1998. In 1999, Johann van der Sandt was appointed director of all the choirs on campus, with Bennie Robinson as the choir manager. The Camerata is privileged to have been sponsored by Momentum Life since 1986. The Camerata gives regular concerts on campus and also participates at church services. Every year, it undertakes concert tours both at home and abroad. It has sung in over a dozen European countries as well as in China, Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. Besides the standard large-scale works of the Classical and Romantic repertoire, the choir also sings much contemporary music from Africa and abroad. In 1989 and 1993, the Camerata was awarded the first prize for mixed choirs at the International Eisteddfod in Roodepoort. In 1994, it was awarded first prize in the Mixed Choir category at the Tallinn ‘94 Choir Festival held in Estonia. As a result of this, the choir was invited to represent South Africa at the Fourth International Symposium on Choral Music, held in Sydney in Australia in August 1996, where the Camerata sang in Sydney Cathedral, the Town Hall and in the Sydney Opera House. In December 1999, the Camerata was awarded first prize in the Mixed Choir category at the International Choir Competition for Advent and Christmas Music in Prague in the Czech Republic, and also received first prize as overall winner of the competition. The choir has the following motto, taken from St Augustine: Cantate cordibus, Cantate oribus, Cantate moribus Sing with the heart, sing with the mouth, sing with life.