In the past, the Office of the Vice-Chancellor traditionally hosted an annual Vice-Chancellor’s Concert in the second half of the year. The concert ran over three nights and was a prominent and much-anticipated event on the university’s calendar. It honoured students, staff, donors and special guests by presenting a medley of brilliant musical offerings, showcasing the wealth of talent from the students and staff of the South African College of Music (SACM).
However, preparations for the concert put a lot of strain on the SACM at a busy time of the academic year. While UCT promotes a culture of inclusivity, the VC’s Concert could in some way have been seen to be an exclusionary event. With a ticketing system capped at only 1 200 seats for a university with over 28 000 students and over 5 000 staff members, the concert might not have struck the right chord for an inclusive university.
This year we are breaking from tradition and will not be hosting the same concert series. Instead, we will host a concert that includes the wider UCT community – a much bigger event that will be held at the beginning of 2019. This will be a platform for a larger number of UCT staff and students to interact more informally in a relaxed setting. The event will also be a way of including our first-year students, welcoming them to the larger UCT family at this celebratory affair, which we hope will be fun, inclusive and light hearted.
Further details about this event will be communicated in due course, but I can assure you that in our event next year we will ensure that the wonderful performances from the College of Music are not lost.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
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