BIOGRAPHY

Colla Voce youth Choir (previously the Southern Transvaal Youth Choir), has become known nationally for its outstanding standard, on par with those set internationally.  The choir is regarded as one of the top provincial youth choirs in South Africa.

The official inception of the choir was done in 1985 by Mr JJ le Roux, Head Superintendent of Education at the time.  The choir formally kicked off its career at our first performance in 1986 in Alberton Civic Centre, with Hannalie van der Merwe as conductor and Christian le Roux as the accompanist.

In 1996 the choir was privatised and the name was changed to Colla Voce Youth Choir.  "Colla Voce" was taken from the Italian language and means "with the voice".

The choir is a registered non-profit organisation.  We aim to give equal opportunities to every chorister who sings in the choir.  The choir also strives to include underprivileged children from all races, thus providing them with the opportunity to fully develop their God given talents and to help them fulfil their dream to sing. With the current financial situation in South Africa, it takes a lot of extra dedication, effort and sacrifice, but it is a rewarding and worthwhile cause.

The choir currently consists of 62 choristers in the age group 14-24 years, drawn from schools and education institutions within Central- and Southern Gauteng, as well as the Northern Free State.  Between 24 and 27 schools and educational institutions are represented in the choir during any given year.

The choir is known not only for its exceptional voices and quality performances, but also for the friendship ties and bonds they create amongst each other.  School-, language- and cultural boundaries simply fall away when they come together to form a united "family" with unique traditions established years ago.

The choir year operates from August until July of the following year to accommodate the Grade 12 choristers, as they typically start with their matric exams in the third term.  Choir auditions are strict to ensure that we only select the best voices for the choir and are held in May and June every year.

Each choir year starts off with a most enjoyable choir camp, followed by a minimum of 12-14 performances annually.  The choir is very popular and their programme is usually fully booked more than a year in advance.

Repertoire:  A new repertoire of approximately one hour in duration is studied annually, consisting of sacred as well as popular music.  Practices take place every Friday afternoon in Alberton, as this is the most geographically central point for the choristers to gather.  Some of our choristers travel as far s 75km to attend the practices, which speaks of the dedication of these special young people.

National exposure:  We have toured every province in our country and we try to undertake a national tour every year, or at least every second year.

International exposure:  We have conducted a number of successful overseas tours to the East (Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore); Europe (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Greece, Italy); as well as the United Kingdom.  During these tours we made many friends abroad.  During our tour to Greece and Italy in 2007, Colla Voce won the Youth Choir Section at the 26th International Choir Competition which was held in Preveza, Greece.  We were also privileged to visit and perform in Namibia, one of our most beautiful neighbouring countries in Africa.

In July 2013 Colla Voce Youth Choir competed in the highly acclaimed International Eisteddfod at Llangollen, Wales, where 25 countries from all over the world were represented.

Being accepted as a competitor for this competition was already a major achievement!  Choirs from all over the world, who wanted to compete in this competition, had to send sound copies of their choir's performance to the organisers for evaluation and possible selection.  Only the very best choirs were selected to compete in this competition.  Colla Voce Youth Choir was selected and was very proud and honoured to represent South Africa.  We were also the only choir from South Africa in the competition.

Colla Voce participated in 2 competitions at the Llangollen Eisteddfod.  In the first competition for advanced Children's Choirs (where only the younger choristers could compete), we came 8th out of the 22 choirs in this section.  We also obtained 3rd place in the section for Mixed Choirs, where we had to compete against adult choirs.  This is an outstanding achievement in a competition that is said to be the biggest international competition in the world, apart from the World Choir Olympiads.

Reunion:  We will be celebrating our 30th year of existence in July 2016.  Previous and current choristers from all over the country will be attending!  Keep an eye on our events page or contact us for more details!

CD's:  Over the years the choir has made several very successful CD's.  For more information, or to order cd's, please contact us.

Projects:  Apart form different smaller projects, Colla Voce has two permanent projects.  These are:

Collas Care:  The Collas Care projects is aimed at sharing the wonderful talents our choristers have received with less privileged groups who may otherwise never have the opportunity to hear the choir.  Therefore, we undertake to do a minimum of 2 outreach concerts to organisations such as orphanages and retirement villages per year.

Adopt a Colla:  With this project, less privileged choristers are given the opportunity to become choir members through the financial support of alumni, parents and organisations.  Various sponsorship options exist - if you would like more information, please complete the form on our contact page, or send an email to collavocejk@gmail.com.