Conductor/Composer, The Stellenbosch University Choir/The Stellenberg Girls Choir
Cape Town, South Africa
André van der Merwe is a conductor and composer from Cape Town, South Africa. He is often invited to perform as guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician nationally and internationally. He has been invited to do freelance work with universities and companies in the USA, Sweden, England, Greece, Germany, Japan, China, Austria and Portugal.
André initially studied B.Mus at the University of Cape Town, but after an injury to his hand, he changed course and studied B.Drama (Directing) at the University of Stellenbosch. During 1990 - 1996 André directed theatre productions for the Grahamstown International Arts Festival and for the Klein Karoo Arts Festival in Oudtshoorn. He received national awards and prizes as actor and director.
In 2012 André was announced as the most popular television presenter for the KykNet programme Fiesta.
Currently André conducts two choirs:
The Stellenbosch University Choir:
The Stellenbosch University Choir is the oldest and most celebrated choir in South Africa. The choir was founded in 1936 under the baton of William Morris. Currently the US choir is ranked number 1 on the Interkultur's World Ranking List of the top 1000 international choirs.
In February 2016 the choir received a Fiesta award for the Best Classical Production at a South African Arts festival. They were also announced as the best Classical Music Vocal production at the 2016 Woordfees.
The Stellenberg Girls Choir:
Since its inception the choir has won numerous first places in national and international choral competitions. A highlight for the choir was at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales in July 2006 where they were announced as the overall winners with the coveted title Choir of the World.
At the World Choir Games (2012) in Cincinnati, USA the girls won two categories overall. In 2013 the Stellenberg Girls won the National ATKV Applous Choir Competition overall for the 12th time.
The Stellenberg Girls are currently ranked number 12 on Interkultur's World Ranking List of the top 1000 international choirs.