PUK choir is regarded as one of the very best choirs in South Africa. The choirrecieves regular invitations from the government, corporate organisations, universities, churches and music & art societies, which underlines the consistent quality of the performance. Numerous awards and prizes were won at festivals and competitions, locally and abroad. The choir sang at the inauguration ceremonies of two South Africa’s heads of state – mr F. W. de Klerk and mr N. R. Mandela.
The Potchefstroom University Choir was founded in 1955 and functioned as such for nearly 50 years. In 2004 the university merged with another one, forming the new North-West University, situated in the North-West Province, South Africa. Since then the choir has been known as the PUK-Choir (of the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus). The present conductor, Awie van Wyk, took over the reigns from his predecessor in 1976.
Apart from the annual tours through South Africa and Namibia, the choir performs also on the international concert tours. The overarching aims of the tours are the forging of cultural ties, the celebration of good choral music and the introduction of South African as well as traditional choral music in foreign countries.
The choir is a mixed voices group, consisting of bona fide students of the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). The singers’ ages vary between about 18 and 23. They study many different things from music to engineering to pharmacy, etc.
The Choir regularly sings under visiting conductors, and they perform big works with orchestras, like Carmina Burana (Orff), Requiem (Mozart), St Matthew Passion (Bach), Messiah (Händel), Crowning Mass (Mozart), Petite Messe Solennelle (Rossini), and many others. They also organise and participate in choir festivals and receive visiting choirs from abroad. The choir was invited by the International Centre for Choral Music (Belgium) to be it’s annual guest choir in April 2003, and again in 2008.
Various sound as well as television recordings have been made by the choir, and these are often broadcasted. Six CDs have already been recorded, namely Credo, Jericho, Libera Me, Kyrie, Dei Amicitia, and the last one being released soon.