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Wits Choirs sing to #SaveADegree

- Wits University

The 2019 Wits Choirs’ Welcome Concert will lend a hand in the #SaveADegree fundraising campaign.

The Wits Choir and the Young Wits Choir presents a musical celebration to officially welcome the year 2019 in song. In true embodiment of Ubuntu, and in keeping with the choir’s motto, Excellence through diversity, the choirs are proudly collaborating with the 2018/19 Wits Students’ Representative Council (SRC) to lend a hand in the #SaveADegree fundraising campaign.

This important campaign – spearheaded by the SRC – aims to raise funds in aid of financially challenged students to enable them to successfully enrol and be afforded the opportunity to complete their degrees or at least complete another year towards attaining their qualifications. Heeding the call to help save a degree, all proceeds from the Wits Choir Welcome Concert will be offered to this fund. Wits SRC President, Sisanda Aluta Mbolekwa has asked people to support this initiative. In a recent Facebook post, she urged: “All proceeds go to the SRC #SaveADegree campaign and Humanitarian fund. Please buy tickets and go support.

Wits Choir

The concert, which takes place on Thursday, 14 March 2019 at 19:30 in the Wits Theatre, promises to offer a colourful, unforgettable evening to choral music lovers. Audiences can expect a vibrant show with an exciting repertoire that includes music from various regions around the African continent. In true Wits Choir style, the songs are sung in many African languages, including isiZulu, isiXhosa, Afrikaans, Swahili and Sesotho, to name but a few. A special surprise performance can be expected at the concert. Tickets are available online at Webtickets at a cost of R70 and R40 for students and pensioners at the door for R75 and R45 for students and pensioners.

The choirs, whose diverse membership is drawn from a multitude of cultures, nationalities, occupations and ages, understand the value of hard work and discipline. The Wits Choir and Young Wits Choir are dedicated to the advancement of a spirit of reconciliation, transformation and collaboration in South Africa. Through the example they set, choir members serve as ambassadors of Wits University and South Africa both when at home and abroad.

The Wits Choirs bring the music of South Africa and of our continent to audiences everywhere. It is their undertaking to show the beauty, intricacies, diversity and complexity of the music in our world.


The Wits Choir is now in its 56th year of existence. It was originally called The Witwatersrand University Choir, founded by students from two diverse student bodies. The first was The University Choral Society and they decided to use the profits from their 1961 production of Oklahoma to buy choral music and start a choir. At the same time, a group of students on the Students’ Engineering Council also decided to form a choir. Towards the end of that year, the two groups combined, and the Wits Choir was formed.

During the last 24 years of the newly-constituted Wits Choir, there have been many highlights. To mention a few:

  • The choir had the honour to sing at three occasions for Nelson Mandela. They also had the honour of singing at his memorial service at Wits University. The message of Ubuntu that he lived by, is one that Wits Choir strives to emulate.
  • The extensive outreach programme for the advancement of choral music and conducting through mini-tours to the Cape Platteland, Mpumalanga, and Northern KwaZulu-Natal amongst others, has afforded the Wits Choir the opportunity to work with local choirs and conductors furthering music education and forming meaningful partnerships. The choir also regularly holds choir festivals and workshops involving singers and conductors from church, school and community choirs.
  • The Wits Choir has often had the privilege to perform on television, with the last one being on Morning Live on SABC 2 to celebrate Freedom Day, which is commemorated on April 27.
  • The Wits Choir has spread the magic of South African music and culture through tours to Namibia (1998 and 2015), Kenya (2001), Argentina (2003), the Czech Republic (2006), the Seychelles (2009) and in 2011 to the USA and Canada. They performed on the Fringe of the 2008 and 2010 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.
  • Wits Choir wowed audiences with their performances in Austria, Germany and France during their tour in 2017. They received standing ovations at every one of their 14 performances.
  • The Young Wits Choir was established in 2013 and it is an extension of Wits Choir with its focus being on music education and skills training, and its motto is Yearning, Willing and Committed - a worthy younger sibling!