According to Tuks Camerata’s conductor, Michael Barrett, there are three main requirements to join the choir, namely, musical ability, commitment, and personality. Barrett said that musical ability does not necessarily refer to being able to sight read. “We look for someone with a good ear and previous choral experience, the bug must have already bitten.” Commitment is also very important, as the choir will consume a lot of a student’s time and many sacrifices will have to be made as student spend more time with the choir than with their classmates. Thirdly, Camerata looks for people with personality, a person who is adaptable and has a certain “choirness” about them. The first auditions of the year will take place in June. Admission into the choir is based on merit, but the choir has certain transformation goals.
In order to achieve the outlined transformation goals for the choir, Tuks Camerata has certain policies put in place. One third of all music performed by the choir will always remain South-African music. The admissions process is completely transparent and current choir members are invited to give input on applicants before they are accepted. Language policies are structured to not exclude any group. These language policies are also enforced in the choir’s social contexts to ensure that no group within the choir is ever excluded from any conversation.
This year, Tuks Camerata is planning the release of a new CD, more flash mob performances, international collaborations, hosting other international choirs and increasing their campus presence.
Photo: Stefan Stander.