Choir Members

Meet The Chanticleer Singers


Louise Frahm-Arp

Louise started singing in one of Richard’s choirs at the age of 14 but only joined the Chanticleer Singers in 1996. She is a trained musician with viola as her main instrument. She has spent many years teaching music and 9 years in the music retail industry. She has run a landscaping business but now teaches individual violin and flute lessons. She is married to Ludwig, an attorney and they have one daughter, Emma. Her favourite composer is Prokofiev and she loves gardening, reading and horses.

Christine Geldenhuis

Christine joined the Chanticleer Singers in 2004. She is a recorder player and specialist in Early Music and historically informed performance practice. Very HIPP. Christine enjoys cooking for friends; exploring flavours and recipes from her excessive collection of cookbooks. Her cat is named after her favourite spice.

Marianne le Roux

Marianne formally joined the Chanticleer Singers as a full-time choir member in 2012. During the daytime, she works as a plant taxonomist (naming and classifying plants) with a special interest in peas, malvas and root thugs. In her spare time, she likes to do some gardening, playing piano, hiking, travelling, spending time with family, and socialising with friends.

Este Meerkotter

Esté joined the Chanticleer Singers in 2012. She has been an avid conductor of various school choirs since 2016, and is also a preschool and junior primary class music teacher. While she learned the flute as her first instrument, she considers herself a lifelong student of music and currently continues her studies in voice and organ. Esté is the current director of music at St Francis Anglican Church in Parkview. She also performs regularly with the African Renaissance Ensemble.

Carol Shutte

Caz joined the Chanticleer singers in 2012 and is the crazy red-head in the choir who sings Soprano 2. She is currently the HoD for the Junior School music department at St Mary’s school in Waverley. She’s always loved music and began piano lessons at the age of 5 and has been involved in choral singing right from the start of Primary school choir. She did music for Matric at Kingsmead College and went on to study her MMus at Rhodes University. She studied Flute and Voice, majoring in Piano performance under the direction of Catherine Foxcroft and Conducting under Professor David Scarr. “I couldn’t imagine my life without music, it is the one constant in amongst the chaos of life. I miss it when we don’t have choir rehearsals on Mondays!”

Louise Hurn

Louise’s mom always said: “Like your dad loves any sport involving balls, you like to sing, where and whenever you can!!” Her mom nudged her into her first eisteddfod at age 7 and she was hooked thereafter. Her poor piano teacher was forced to teach her to sing for 2 years before finishing her final piano exams. Auf wiedersehen piano!

School choirs, provincial choirs and musicals followed. While studying Bcom Economics (Hon)at NWU, the Potch University choir & Boulevard Harmonists groups shaped her voice and abilities most profoundly. The most fun was making extra pocket money singing with 3 of her best friends at funerals (fun-nerals as her eldest daughter refers to it)! She joined Chanticleer in 2006 and took a pregnancy break in 2010, after which she rejoined the choir again in 2021. She has always considered it a privilege to sing in this world class choir. She has 2 beautiful daughters, who have the same profound love for singing and are both choristers.

“Music is a blessing from God and I thank Him for bestowing this blessing on me and my family.”

Elissa Lessing

Irma Meyer

Irma started singing in the church choir at the age of 10 and was inspired by her Opera singing teacher to take this singing business a bit further. She sang in the Rustenburg High School choir under Michael Barrett and competed in various competitions while completing the Unisa Grade 8 and Licentiate certification in Grade 12. Together with her husband Bodo Meyer (the low-low bass) she sang in various Chamber choirs including Ars Nova and the Chamber Singers before joining the Chanticleer Singers in 2016. Irma also plays various instruments including piano, trumpet, flute, guitar and sometimes plays the organ in Sunday church services. By day Irma is a passionate sustainability consultant and is a proud small business owner focusing on natural alternative solutions. She enjoys making music, attending the annual Schützwoche, and singing to the glory and praise of God and is extremely grateful for all the opportunities that have come her way over the years.


Diana Cowen

Diana’s inspiration to sing started at the age of 6 when she fell in love with Joan Baez, her voice and songs. This then branched out into a passion for choral music of any sort, but particularly the Renaissance period. She spent her teenage afternoons in the glorious candlelit chapels of Oxford listening to college evensongs and regularly falling in love with the singers. She joined her school choir and subsequently her university choirs, and choirs in whichever country she lived, Russia, Italy, Greece and now South Africa with the Chanticleer Singers. She is eternally grateful for the ability and opportunity to sing and to teach music to children.

Susan Harrop-Allin

Susan Harrop-Allin has been a member of the Chanticleer Singers for 25 years. Singing with Richard Cock and the choir is an important part of her musical life, and she treasures the many opportunities she has had to perform in South Africa and beyond. She’s been a musician as long as she can remember, as a pianist, some-time cellist and chamber musician, and has sung in three choirs with Richard Cock since the age of 18. She has been involved with music education and development her entire professional life, and is currently a senior lecturer in the Music Department at Wits University’s School of Arts, where she teaches Community Music, Musicology, post-graduate teacher education and Music Research. Her PhD was a study of South African children’s musical play and their implications for teaching and subsequent research is located within higher education community engagement, arts service learning and South African community music. Her main focus for the past 4 years is her musical daughter, Lethabo, who also plans to become the youngest member of Chanticleer!

Karien Gudde

Karien was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa and is currently the Director of Music at Pridwin Preparatory School. She started piano lessons at the age of 5 with Claudine van Breda. Throughout her schooling career she participated in numerous local and national eisteddfodau and competitions. At 14 she participated in “Virtuosi per Musica di Pianoforte”, an international piano competition in the Czech Republic and at 17 she went to Lithuania to participate in the “International Balys Dvarionas Compeition for Pianists and Violinists”. She also took up playing oboe in high school. During her studies at the University of Pretoria, Karien played oboe for the UP Symphony Orchestra and had the opportunity to perform with most of the professional orchestras in South Africa.

It is only after completing her BMus degree, specialising in piano performance under Prof. Joseph Stanford, that she discovered the joy of choral music. She joined the now disbanded Musica Mundo adult chamber choir in 2008, after which she joined the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg in 2012. She has been a member of the Chanticleer Singers under the direction of Richard Cock since 2014.

Karien is a passionate musician with a love for learning new instruments. In 2011 she picked up saxophone as an instrument, while substituting for a colleague on maternity leave. She has since passed Grade 8 saxophone on both alto and soprano saxophone (both with distinction) and plays in a saxophone quartet, “Saxy Ladies” on a regular basis. She also performs as part of the Pridwin Music Staff Band at their annual Jazz festival.

Marga Sander

Marga Sander obtained her BMus (Hons) from the PU for CHE under the supervision of Bernarda Swart. She received training as accompanist from Anna Bender and singing training from Sarie Lamprecht. Marga was the music director of the UJ Arts Academy (2006-2012). Highlights include Rocco de Villiers’s Jozi Ma Sweety and Black Street Jazz staring Abigail Khubeka. She made her conducting debut with Ian von Memerty’s Jump for Joy and had the honor of conducting members of the Joburg Festival Orchestra for their production of West Side Story.

Theatre highlights include: Phantom of the Opera (for Pieter Toerien), assistant music director for Dirty Dancing (Pieter Toerien), assistant music director for Aladdin. (Joburg Theatre), Sound of Music Kids Music Director (Pieter Toerien), assistant music director and assistant conductor for West Side Story (Fugard Theatre). Later this year she will be returning to the Joburg Theatre as Music Director for their annual pantomime, Sleeping Beauty.

Other highlights include: Carmina Burana for 2 pianos and percussion, Mahler 5th Symphony, written for 4hands on1piano, and singing the Rachmaninov Verspers and Bach’s St John’s Passion under the direction of Richard Cock.

Megan Cox

Elaine Sullivan


Riaal Domingues

Riaal started singing choir at an early age in school choirs. During high school, he sang in the Eastern Transvaal Youth Choir, and at university the University of Pretoria choir. After university he took singing lessons to improve his ability as a choir member. He sang in various adult choirs including Sinchronies, Collegium Vocale, Excelda Chamber Choir and Cantumus Corde. He joined the Chanticleer Singers in 2019. Although the type of choirs have changed post undergraduate days, he is still a student and works full time in Information Security. Singing in Chanticleer helps him cope with work and studies. As a very busy fellow choir member once said, the true question is not “how we make time for choir in a busy schedule, it is how will we cope with a busy schedule if we can’t sing in a choir?”

Mzukisi Kota

Mzukisi’s choral music journey began at the age of 4 when he was mercilessly used to contribute the cuteness factor at a concert put on by the church choir which was run by his family! Since then, he has sung in school and church choirs throughout his school years and in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Choir in his varsity years. After singing in many choirs in SA and abroad in the post-varsity years, and working with incredibly gifted musicians, he finally found his way to the Chanticleer Singers around April 2016.

He is a lawyer by day, specialising in large-scale infrastructure projects and a sometimes-musician most nights. He remains convinced that his primary purpose in all the choirs in which he have sung, including this one, is still to bring the cuteness factor!

George Potgieter

George completed his BMus and MMus studies at the University of Pretoria in 2005 and 2007. During his studies he studied Choral Conducting with Johann van der Sandt, Voice with Antoinette Oliver as well as Classical Guitar with Abri Jordaan. He was also a member of the University of Pretoria Camerata. In Finland he studied Music education as well as Choral Conducting with Rita Varonen and Voice with Swedish lecturer, Inge Lindroth. George is a Music educator based in Johannesburg and regularly attends national and international music education events.
George has a sincere passion for music education and developing the love of music and music education in South Africa. He is a committee member of the Orff Schulwerk Society of South Africa. He has been a member of the Chanticleer Singers since September 2018.

Mark Marais

Günther Niebuhr


Wion Flett

Wion (aka “Hoofseun”) joined Chanticleer in September 2006 as a baritone. Favourite works include Rachmaninov’s Vespers, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem and Bach’s St John’s Passion… so basically, the bigger the better! When not singing, Wion is an Investment Consultant, an avid Scuba diver, loving father and managed to marry high above his league. The versatile nature of the choir’s repertoire, ability to master some really tricky music and the ‘lekker gees’ is what keeps him crossing the Jukskei every Monday evening with a smile. He does not like it when you mention the “Whisky Flask” incident.

Bodo Meyer

Bodo (and his wife Irma) joined Chanticleer in 2016 after having been able to tick off a bucket list item: singing the St John’s passion (by participating in the project choir for that magnificent piece). He is an accountant by trade, but lives by the motto: “everything is relative” (Go Einstein!). He is also often invited by the conductor to “come closer”… Apparently the back row of the choir is NOT the place to relax!

Hendre van Zyl

Hendre is a Company Secretary at a large banking group in Johannesburg. He is not a typist (although he CAN type!) – Company Secretaries arrange the meetings of the board of directors, take minutes and prepare the meeting documentation, amongst many other things. They are the guardians of corporate governance of a company. He has been a member of Chanticleer since 1999, so that makes it 20 years in 2019! He is married to Louise and they have two children, Heinrich and Anina, and two Golden Retrievers, Sebastian and Jessica. His favourite composer is, without a doubt, Johann Sebastian Bach…and piece of music, his St John’s Passion. His hobbies include swimming (is that a hobby?), gardening, art and antique collecting, travelling and some solo baritoning on the side.

Waldo Egan

“I am just a regular Joe, hoping to make a difference in the lives and stories of the people I connect with”. Waldo works in the field of data analytics, reporting and design by day. He always enjoys a challenge and solving problems or adding his creative flair somewhere in the world.  There are a couple of things that he holds very close to my heart, including his Hubby, his Cocker Spaniels, and his friends. He dabbles in Rock Climbing by night and works on his dream of one day living in the mountains where the hills are alive with the sound of music, right!

He has sung in choirs for as long as he can remember. He considers it to be a big part of what completes him. He had the privilege to join the choral world in 1991 at the age of 8 and singing in renowned choirs including The East Rand Children’s and Youth Choir, the National Youth Choir of South Africa, the UP Tuks Camerata, Akustika Chamber Choir and has been a member of the Chanticleer Singers since 2020. He cherishes incredible memories singing in Cathedrals and concert halls in Europe and the USA and participating in the World Choir games in 2018 where the Akustika Chamber choir received 5 Gold Medals and 1 overall category win. He completed a B(Mus) Choral Conducting (Perf) degree in 2006 under the leadership of Prof. Johann van der Sandt, worked as a vocal coach at the National School of the Arts, conducted a couple of choirs, before changing careers in 2015 to explore a love for data analytics.