New UCT Choir conductor, Kurt Haupt.
The UCT Choir has a new conductor, as of February this year.
Kurt Haupt is no stranger to the UCT community, having taught at South African College of Music as a vocal coach for the past five years. But this is the first time he will conduct a choir.
"I've never worked with a group of singers before. There are 65 of us in the choir. So it's 65 different personalities from different walks of life, coming together to make music because we love it."
Before embarking on his UCT career, Haupt was on stage in various musical theatre performances such as the Phantom of the Opera. When his tour for Beauty and the Beast was cancelled one year, he relocated to work at UCT.
"With touring, your life is constantly put on hold. At some point you want to settle down - and I've always wanted to settle in Cape Town."
Haupt was particularly keen to work with a choir.
"I have a lot of experience with putting music together and I needed something creative. Working with music every day can become just a job. But this allows me some kind of creative outlet; and I have control over where the music goes."
Haupt's main plan for the UCT Choir this year is to build an audience base.
"I'm trying to choose music that will appeal to a broad range of people, so there will be something familiar for everyone. It's not going to be strictly choral. We do live in the 21st century where you have to be a bit of everything within the field."
In Haupts' view, music has to change and move with the times. So while planning to celebrate Cape Town's rich tradition of choral music, he will do this from a fresh perspective.
Currently, there are major performances that Haupt is in rehearsals for, but as he jokes "I detest going to gym, but I could rehearse for three hours!" He continues, "We have two concerts and a recording to prepare for so within that work needs to get done while keeping a fun positive attitude."
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