Principal’s Concert 2015 highlights South Africa’s heritage



The Principal’s Concert: Sounds of South Africa 2015 is a UP Arts production featuring the University of Pretoria Symphony Orchestra, Wind band and Jazz band, Tuks Camerata, the UP Youth Choir, UP Ovuwa and the drama department. It was held on 2, 3 and 6 September 2015.


The concert showcased renowned songs that are synonymous with South African heritage. Vice-chancellor and principal of the university Prof. Cheryl de la Rey noted, “The 2015 programme showcases the sounds of South Africa, epitomising the unique and diverse musical heritage inspired by both the local and global contexts that have contributed to our national identity – truly fitting in the year in which South Africa celebrates 21 years of democracy.”


The concert opened with an instrumental overture performed by the orchestra. The Ovuwa cultural ensemble performed the songs “Homeless”, “Senzenina”, and teamed up with the jazz band to perform “Ipi’Ntombi the warrior” and “Kgomo”.


Tuks Camerata performed “Siyalobola” and “Nearer my God to Thee”, with Theo van Wyk accompanying on the organ. They performed together with the orchestra on Laurika Rauch’s hit, “Stuur groete aan Mannetjies Roux”.


The UP Youth Choir performed a medley of Cape minstrel songs as well as a medley of South African gospel music. They also teamed up with Camerata and Ovuwa on a “Sounds of South Africa” choral medley.


The drama department performed a dance routine with accompaniment by the orchestra, and also sang “When you come back” with the jazz band. Nikita Mokgware from the drama department performed a captivating poem, adding a spoken word element to the otherwise music-focused production.


Music student and soloist Monica Mhangwana performed “A cry, a smile, a dance” with the orchestra, as well as “African dream” with the full cast. The whole cast gave an enthusiastic performance of Johnny Clegg’s “Scatterlings of Africa”, signalling the end of the production.


The concert concluded with instrumentals from the orchestra and the jazz band, making for a memorable showcase of UP’s talent.


Image provided.

Three years of Hello Ambassador

Three years of Hello Ambassador


On 4 and 5 September the third annual Hello Ambassador creative festival took place at the Sci-Bono Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg. The event featured talks by various speakers from several creative fields.

The festival also featured workshops by the speakers involved, along with the yearly creative expo which showcased crafts like screen-printing, woodwork, and “live-drawing”.

Read more: Three years of Hello Ambassador

“Happiness is having your own library card”


On Friday 4 September Prof. Molly Brown, head of UP’s English department, presented a talk in the Merensky Library titled “My life with books”, in which she spoke about her journey with different types of literature. The event was held to mark National Book Week, which is celebrated annually in September.

Prof. Brown began the talk by speaking about her pre-school years and the books that were read to her as a young child. She cites all of the books mentioned in her talk as having a profound influence on her life. “The power of books to inhabit one is, I think, generally recognised,” she said. She supported this statement on the books that influenced her childhood by quoting novelist Elizabeth Bowen, who said that “the child lives in the book, but just as much, the book lives in the child.”

Read more: “Happiness is having your own library card”

Arts Alive 2015 to light up Jo’burg

Arts Alive 2015 to light up Jo’burg


The 2015 Arts Alive festival will be running from  5-27 September in Johannesburg. The festival was founded in 1992 and aims to celebrate creativity in many different artistic genres. The streets and theatres of Johannesburg will be lit up for the 23rd year in a row by the festival’s various eclectic events. The event gives people the opportunity to witness some of the best talents Jo’burg has to offer in fields such as theatre, music, dance and fine arts.

The festival aims to solidify the city’s status as the country’s culture capital and to create a space for cultural celebration. This will be the first time the festival will be run by a City entity, the Joburg City Theatres. In this instalment of the festival there will be a range of award winning artists such as Angelique Kidjo from Benin, and Sly and Robbie, the Jamaican drum and bass duo.

Read more: Arts Alive 2015 to light up Jo’burg




π (pi) is a play being performed from 3-5 September at the Lier theatre on Hatfield campus. The play was created by Micia de Wet, a drama student completing her master’s degree at UP. The play explores the performance styles of Antonin Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty and draws its inspiration from Sam Shepard’s original text A Lie of the Mind.

π transfers the two protagonists from the original text and places them into a new play context,” says De Wet. The play looks at what would happen if the two “doomed lovers” didn’t have to separate, as happens in the original version. De Wet talks about the use of film in the play and how the use of different mediums is a huge part of the play. “π is an infinite number, and when we think about how we understand love and the experience of human emotion, I believe it is something infinite that can’t be defined to time and space,” says De Wet. De Wet aims to make her audience think about redefining themselves outside of binaries such as race, class and sexuality.


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