The KwaZulu-Natal Youth Choir is the oldest youth choir in South Africa, founded by Mr. Hein de Villiers in 1967.

As its name depicts, the choir consists of choristers from the KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa.  Though based in Durban, it attracts talent from across the province, reaching as far south as Port Edward and Kokstad, Richards Bay in the north and inland to Mooi River and Newcastle.


The choir was founded by Mr Hein de Villiers


The choir is recognised as the regional representative Youth Choir. (9th August).


Performs at the 10th Republic Festival in Cape Town and Stellenbosch.


Participates in the International Europiad for Folk in Sardinia. Performs eight concerts in Belgium.


Performs Mozart’s Coronation Mass for the Natal Performing Arts Council.


Tours to Cape Town as guest of the University of Cape Town and SANLAM.


Tour to England, Austria and Italy under the direction of Hein de Villiers.


Participates in National Choral Festival in Port Elizabeth.


Favourite choir at the annual Youth Arts Festival of the Department of Education and Culture, South Africa.


Tour to Italy and Austria under the direction of Veronica van Rooyen. Placed third out of 13 choirs in the International Competition in Graz.

1989 – 1991

Favourite choir at the annual Youth Arts Festival of the Department of Education and Culture, South Africa.


Tour to Hungary and Austria under the direction of Rykie Boeke. First South African Choir to participate in the Bela Bartok International Choir Competition in Debrecen. The choir is placed 6th out of 38 choirs from 17 countries. The KZN Youth Choir is the first SA Choir to participate in the annual Viennese Youth and Music Festival after the lifting of sanctions.


The choir is invited to participate in an International Youth Choir Festival in Kempele, Finland. A Protea Friendship club is established in Finland and the visit of the Kempele Youth Choir is a direct result of his tour.


Host choir of the First International Pietermaritzburg Youth Choir Festival.


Concert and Competition tour to England, France, Belgium and Holland during the July holidays.


Participates under the direction of Gérard’d du Toit in the national Youth Choir Festival in Kempton Park and in the Second Pietermaritzburg International Youth Choir Festival.


Participates in the 27th International “Jugend und Musik in Wien” festival in Vienna, Austria. The choir is placed second the Youth Choir Category out of 17 entries. The only South African choir invited to participate in the Summer Festival in Bratislava, Slovakia. The choir toured the Czech and Slovakian Republics, Austria and Germany.


Two CD’s were released, namely: “The Immortal Bach” and “Otche Nash”. The choir participated in the Prestige Choir Festival at the University of Pretoria in July.


The only South African choir to be invited to participate in the International Choir Competition in Spittal, Austria. Concert tour includes Spain, France, Italy and Switzerland.


Choir participates in the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival.


Tour down to Bloemfontein as the demonstration choir at the annual Philip MacLachlan Choral Conducting Seminar.


The first South African choir to be invited to participate at the 27th International Sacred Choir Festival and 9th International sacred Choir Competition in Preveza, Greece. The choir obtained a first prize in the Best presented and balanced Folklore programme – 26 choirs from 16 countries participated, and was placed 2nd in the Youth Choir Category and 3rd mixed adult chamber vocal ensembles . The choir was also the favourite choir amongst the public and the choirs. The release of the C.D. entitled “Celebration” – celebrating its 35th anniversary.


Invited to perform at the opening ceremony of the International MacLachlan X with the Free State Youth Symphony Orchestra in Stellenbosch on 25 March 2004. Mr. G. du Toit to act as clinician.


The KZN Youth Choir toured Europe and visited Austria and Germany during this time. They performed with the Ulmer Spatzen Choir in Ulm. The Youth Choir also participated in the 4th Johannes Brahms International Choir Competition & Festival. The choir obtain two gold medals and achieved first and third place in the two categories they participated in. In 2005 the choir obtained numerous awards from the South African Choral Association. Mr. Gerard’d du Toit won best Conductor, Roland Perold won best accompanist and Mrs. Ilse Bothma won best Administrator for choirs. The choir’s ever popular CDs also obtained its first award for the 2004 KZN Youth Choir CD.


The choir is invited to attend the “Music Youth and Dance Celebrations” in Tallinn Estonia and forms part of a 32000 strong mass choir performing in front of 150000 spectators in an open air venue. The choir performs with the members of the Estonian Youth Symphony Orchestra before travelling to St Petersburg, Moscow and finally Ulm. Here the choir performs with the Ulmer Spatzen Choir.


A very successful tour to the Free State, Cape Town and Eastern Cape is undertaken, together with the Chamber Orchestra of the Nomme Music School of Tallinn, Estonia under the baton of Jüri-Ruut Kangur. The Bel Canto Chamber Choir, as the senior choir of the KZN Youth Choir and as associated choir to the Department of Music at UKZN – Durban, is invited to participate in the 20th IFAS competition in Pardubice, Czech Republic. (IFAS – International Festival of Academic Choirs). The choir wins a gold certificate, placing second in the Indigenous Folklore category.


The KZN Youth Choir participated in the Cecilia Seghizzi International Choir Competition, Gorizia, Italy in July 2009. The choir was awarded 
three premium awards, one in Folklore, The UKZN Bel Canto Chamber choir in the Jazz Category, and the Public Prize for the most popular choir was also awarded to the KZN Youth Choir.The choir met their partner choir, the Ljubljana Madrigalisti under the baton of Andreja Martinjak in Ljubljana, and the choirs performed on the Marketplatz.


The choir focused on outreach programmes and performances such as in Eshowe and the South Coast.


The choir obtained first prizes and Gold Medals in the following categories at the International Antonio Vivaldi Choir Competition, Greece, Karpenisi in July : Youth Choir, Sacred Music, Folklore. Special awards and gold medals included : Best Choir at the Festival and Competition, Choir with the Highest score, and Maestro Conductor award to the conductor of the choir.


In July 2013 the KZN Youth Choir travelled to Florence, Italy to compete in the Florence International Choir Festival where 18 other choirs from around the world took part. This festival was aimed at professional choirs, so they were extremely honoured to be chosen to take part. They were awarded the following prizes: Gold in the Chamber Choir Category, Gold for Best Female Soloist (Pearl Khwezi) and Gold for Best Contemporary Arrangement (Gerard’d du Toit for “Sounds of Africa”).


The choir traveled to Poland in July 2015 to partake in the Bydgoszcz Musical Impressions Competition and Festival which consisted of 19 competitors from 11 different countries around the world which embraced the different aspects of singing, dancing and orchestral ensembles. The choir walked away from the competition with a first place prize sponsored by the Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage for the choral section of the competition as well as a cash prize.


The choir performed around KZN raising money in order to compete in Europe in 2017. The highlight of the year was when the choir performed the Karl Jenkins "Requiem" alongside the Durban Symphonic Choir, accompanied by the renowned KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra on Sunday the 14th of August at St. Joseph's Cathedral.


In July 2017 the KZN Youth Choir competed in the Golden Voices of Barcelona competition in Lloret de Mar, Spain.  The choir competed in four categories namely : Academic Singing, Sacred, Gospel and Folklore and won a first prize and trophy in each category,  topping all the choirs who competed against them in this competition. In September​ ​2017 previous and current members of the KZN Youth Choir came together and celebrated 50 years of choral excellence in the province.


2018 was the first time that South Africa hosted the World Choir Games and even though it is not a touring year, we decided to enter. The 2 categories we entered were the Mixed Youth Choirs and the Musica Sacra a capella. For both we received silver medals. Although this competition is very different from those we usually participate in, it was a wonderful experience and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.


Required: Tour information and results

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