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Choral Colours

An enchanting concert that celebrates the beauty and diversity of unaccompanied choral works. We invite you to experience the seamless blend of voices as they intertwine like hues on an artist’s canvas, creating a vivid tapestry of sound and emotion. Featuring the intricate polyphony of Byrd, the harmonic richness of Stanford, and the contemporary flair ... Read more

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Nazareth House, 290 Florence Ribeiro Ave, Waterkloof
Pretoria, Gauteng South Africa
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More about Chanticleer Singers in 2024

The Chanticleer Singers is a chamber choir based in Johannesburg. The choir was originally established by the well-known Maestro, Richard Cock. Since its inception, the choir has been singing a variety of challenging works across all genres of choral music. In a typical year, the Chanticleer Singers will perform around 5 or 6 programs of music, usually in Johannesburg, but also in other cities in South Africa and abroad, when the opportunity presents itself. In 2023, Richard retired, but the choir decided to continue its long-established tradition of performing unique and challenging musical programs.

The choir is currently conducted by two of the choir members, namely Louise Frahm-Arp, and Esté Meerkotter. Throughout the concert, the two take turns singing and conducting. Being active choir members, as well as conductors, they know the demands placed on the singers well. Both are established musicians themselves, and Esté is also known as a composer, with some of her compositions performed by Chanticleer under Richard Cock in the past.

The artistic direction of the choir, as well as the operational aspects of arranging and marketing concerts, are handled by a committee consisting of members of the choir.

More about the Choral Colours Concert

The Chanticleer Singers have so far performed two programmes in 2024. The first was a tribute to Richard Cock, which featured of some of his favourite pieces performed by Chanticleer Singers in the past. The second programme, performed as part of the St Francis Music Festival, presented contrasting pairs of pieces with the same text, written by different composers.

For a concert in the sister city of Pretoria, the Chanticleer Singers will perform a selection of works from the preceding concerts. We spoke to Esté and Louise to get their perspective of the content of the Choral Colours concert, and why people in Pretoria should attend this unique concert.


The Choral Colours concert is a mix of what the Chanticleer Singers have sung in 2024. Being entirely unaccompanied, the concert is really an exploration of the different ways in which a choir can be used as an instrument in itself. By performing all different genres of music, the choir showcases various textures and harmonic colours. Unaccompanied vocal music, if you think about it, is the most ancient form of music, so it connects with people at a very primal level. To me, this kind of music is sublime – it takes people to a place where they contemplate eternal spiritual realities.

We will be singing some of my favourites, including well-known choral standards like Beati Quorum Via by Standford, and The Battle of Jericho by Moses Hogan. There will also be pieces that are less well-known, like The Evening Primrose from Benjamin Britten’s Five Flower Songs and more challenging and exciting pieces like Chariots by Péter Louis van Dijk. The programme content is varied, challenging, and different from the usual choir program.


The Choral Colours concert is a mix of some of our favourite pieces from the first two concerts of 2024, like the deeply moving Ave Verum by Phillip Stopford. The choir will perform some really fun pieces that nevertheless required hard work to master, like the comical song Nina from Argentina by Noël Coward. The programme includes pieces by a couple of South African composers such as Van Kirstenbosch to in Namakwaland, written by Lourens Faul, who sang in the Chanticleer Singers many years ago.

The programme cuts across many style periods, from Haec Dies by Renaissance composer William Byrd to Omnes Gentes Plaudite by Marek Raczynski, who is a modern composer still writing new works today. For me, the pieces we chose were the ones we thought really had the “wow”-factor and would be most interesting and memorable for audiences.

Members of the choir introduce each piece, explaining what the work is about, what makes it interesting, and what to listen for when it is performed. This leads to a much richer experience by the audience when listening to the music.

So come and enjoy this celebration of the many and varied colours and shades of choral music.