An introduction to:
The Bloemfontein Men’s Choir
The Bloemfontein Men’s Choir (BMC) is a Christian, not for profit organisation consisting of 25 members, the Accompanist and Choir Leader; the choir has no political and/or cultural affiliations and therefore functions independently. The BMC and the official emblem is duly registered under company registration number 011/113493/08.
Mrs Ansphi van der Walt has led the BMC since its inception in May 2000. Hans Potgieter joined the BMC in 2009 as accompanist and is a distinguished professional pianist who, for the past 20 years, gained extensive experience and also performed abroad in France, Italy and the UK.
The main objective of the choir is to advance the performing arts with emphasis on choral singing. We provide an opportunity to men in Bloemfontein to express and actualise their love and passion for the performing arts and specifically choral singing. Significant importance is placed on vocalisation and the breathing techniques of our members as well as their ability to read and appropriately interpret sheet music; music history and accidence are also intercommunicated to members, from time to time.
Members of the BMC elects a Management Team internally; the team consists of a Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary and an additional member. The Management regularly meet to discuss matters affecting choir operations and, if necessary, convene ad hoc meetings with all members. An annual general meeting is held at the beginning of each year to inform members of the strategic direction of the choir, scheduled performances for the upcoming year and fiscal matters. All meetings are duly recorded.
As an organisation, the BMC is acutely aware of its social responsibility and as a result performs at various charity events (e.g. Sunflower House & CANSA) as well as retirement villages when so requested.
The Choir comprises of multiple semi-independent voice categories, namely 1st Tenor, 2nd Tenor, Baritone, Bass and when musical composition / performance so warrants, Countertenors. All our members are otherwise gainfully employed and their affiliation to BMC is therefore voluntary; despite the diverse background and various employment disciplines of our members we all share a unifying passion and adoration for choral singing, which has been the single biggest attribute of our overall success.
The BMC produced and/or participated in many successful stage productions and also hosted some of South Africa’s most talented performers during our Annual Concerts, e.g.:
- Stage Productions include (inter alia):
- Christmas at the Opera (presented by Opera Free State)
- The Singing Christmas Tree
- Bound for Broadway
- Song of Praise (with Richard Cock) and
- Christmas in Bloemfontein Local artists hosted in joint performance by the BMC include (inter alia):
- Mathys Roets
- André Schwartz
- Manuel Escorsio
- Sarah Theron
- Charl du Plessis
- Roual Beukes
- Charl van Heyningen
- Danie Niehaus and
- The Gospel Vocalist, Piet Smit
Other celebrated choirs who performed with the BMC include the Wales Men’s Choir (in Cape Town), the Drakensberg Boys Choir, the Bloemfontein Children’s Choir and men’s choirs from Potchefstroom, George and Randburg.
From the aforementioned it is consequential that the BMC’s repertoire is vast and includes all genres. The BMC also boasts with two compilations of our work on CD titled “Memories” and “Gloria Deo”.
At an Eisteddfod held in Bloemfontein in May 2011 the BMC was awarded five A+, two A, two B+ and two B symbols; Mr André van der Merwe gave the choir a rave review and further mentioned that the BMC’s performance dwarfed those he had judged in Wales earlier that year. The Eisteddfod of 2012 equally impressed Mr Johan van der Sandt (Drakensberg Boys Choir) who remarked that the BMC’s performance rate amongst the best in South Africa and that we would be able to (successfully) contend with any international choir. The BMC was awarded four A++ and three A+ symbols during the latter Eisteddfod.
During 2013 the BMC was also judged by Mr. Leon Starker and 4 x A++ and 5 x A+ were awarded for the performance. Mr. Starker expressed the opinion that the BMC is a world class choir who would easily compete against foreign choirs.
We appreciate the honour and opportunity of having presented to you the Bloemfontein Men’s Choir; if any additional information is sought or to clarify any uncertainty please communicate same to us.
The Bloemfontein Men’s Choir