Experience the Rich Tapestry of South African Choral Music in uJehova, the new album from UP’s TUKS Camerata

Posted on April 12, 2024

University of Pretoria (UP) choir TUKS Camerata has released its latest album on all streaming platforms. Titled uJehova, the album is a heartfelt tribute to South Africa’s democracy, and contains commissioned and specially curated pieces.

The album comprises 13 new songs that were recorded at UP’s Musaion theatre, and is a collection of traditional South African choral music that encapsulates the tapestry of the country’s musical landscape. Each song can be described as a celebration of South Africa’s cultural diversity and a reminder of the strength found in unity. uJehova was inspired by a commitment to preserving and innovating the country’s musical heritage, and gives listeners the opportunity to commemorate a significant milestone in South Africa’s history.

uJehova is more than an album – it is a sonic chronicle of the past, a celebration of the present and a hopeful anthem for the future,” said Dr Michael Barrett, conductor for TUKS Camerata. “As these harmonies reverberate, may they resonate with the spirit of a nation that continues to harmonise its diverse voices into a symphony of progress and unity. May the melodies of uJehova inspire us to embrace the beauty of our shared heritage and carry the torch of unity into the future.”

The album includes captivating songs like Inkosi Namandla, arranged by Dr Barrett; Eloyi by Mbuso Ndlovu and Sydney Masetlhe; Kulelali by Sabelo Mthembu; and Hallelujah Nkateko by Mbuso Ndlovu.

TUKS Camerata celebrated its 56th anniversary in 2024 and has garnered several national and international accolades over the years. The choir’s mission is to contribute to the cultural development of the student body, enriching the lives of students and the wider community through choral singing; it also serves as a cultural ambassador for UP.

TUKS Camerata is housed in the School of the Arts in UP’s Faculty of Humanities, and comprises 77 full-time students from various academic fields, including medicine, engineering, theology, law, education, economics, accounting, plant sciences and music.

In July 2017, the choir won the prestigious Grand Prix of Nations for Best Mixed Youth Choir in Riga, Latvia; it also won the competition in 2014. In the same month, TUKS Camerata performed at the 11th World Symposium of Choral Music hosted by the International Federation of Choral Music in Barcelona, Spain.

The choir has recorded three albums: Phoenix (2014), Love and War (2016) and Indodana (2017), all of which have been nominated for South African Music Awards. Written in the Stars is its fourth album, which was recorded under the direction of Dr Barrett. In March 2025, TUKS Camerata will be the headline act at the National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Dallas, Texas in the US.

uJehova is available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, Joox Music, YouTube, iTunes and Amazon Music.

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