Bennie has been in the choir industry for more than 15 years. He has been the Choir Manager of several choirs which include Northern Gauteng Youth Choir and the University of Pretoria Camerata. He has been acting as international choir tour organiser/manger for more than twenty choirs in South Africa since 1998.
As manager and owner of a popular boy band(Hi-5) has he been involved in the local music industry on a professional scale since 2003. Bennie has also been producing groups for the international arena since 2007 and have produced six vocal groups since to countries such as Spain, Canary Islands, Dubai and Sweden.
He is currently a shareholder as well as the General Manager of a musical theatre called the Barnyard Theatre in Cape Town. He has been the Executive Producer of two local TV music series (13 episodes each) as well as the producer for several musical concerts on a macro scale (4000 patrons) where several well-known South African artists have performed with choir and symphony orchestra.
CHRISTO BURGER is regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost Conductors. He started as a member of the University of Pretoria Camerata from 1997 – 2003.
During his studies at the University Of Pretoria he obtained the degrees BMus, BMus Hons (Performing Arts) Cum Laude as well as MMus (Performing Arts). Christo attended master classes in choral conducting at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, USA under the batons of Judith Clurman and Eric Whitacre, among others. He also attended master classes in orchestral conducting at the Royal College of Music in the UK. Christo is a full-time lecturer in Choral Conducting at the University of Pretoria.
His St Mary's Singers school choir is rated under the top 3 girls choirs in the country and has won numerous national awards.
His University TUKS Camerata choir has recently won the mixed choir category at the annual International Choral Competition in Bratislava.
His chamber choir, AKUSTIKA, in July 2008 was the overall winner of the Pavarotti trophy and was awarded the title “Choir of the world” at the 62nd Llangollen international music eisteddfod, Wales, UK. To add on to their success AKUSTIKA was also the overall winner at the Concorso Chorale Internazionale Riva del Garda choir competition in Italy, March 2010 obtaining a Gold X rating according to the Musica Mundi evaluation system. AKUSTIKA is currently ranked number 3 rd on Interkultur’s mixed choir world ranking list of the top 1000 international choirs.
He is regularly invited as adjudicator and clinician at national and international choral competitions which have included countries such as the Czech Republic, Thailand, Malaysia an Italy. Choirs under his direction have won numerous choral competitions, both on national and international level.
Christo is also seen as a composer of works in the “African Avant Garde Choral Music” style, combining story-telling of African music with western compositional technique. His works were performed at the past 3 World Choral Games.
Lara van Zyl
After completing her studies at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology Lara lived and worked overseas for five years where she had the opportunity to learn and be exposed to many different types of events. After returning to South Africa she worked as a Project Manager for one of the top Professional Conference Organisers in Cape Town.
Some of her past projects that she has worked on in South Africa include:
- 62nd International Astronautical Congress - 2011
- African Quantity Surveyors Conference - 2010
- The Institute of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa Conference - 2010
- 23rd International ICLAM (International Committee for Insurance Medicine) Conference – 2010
- South African Society of Nuclear Medicine Conference – 2008
- 4TH World Congress on Medicinal & Aromatic Plants – 2008
Lara is now the owner of Silver Apple Events, an events company based in Cape Town. She is passionate about events and seeing how what she does brings people from many different walks of life together in one place to share ideas and learn from each other, and of course to show case the beautiful city that is Cape Town. She always strives above and beyond to make sure that the client and delegate are her top priority.