A Mass for the Universe :: The New Covenant

UJ Arts & Culture in collaboration with Vektor Productions proudly presents The New Covenant. The multi-generational UJ Choir and its alumni members equalling over 110 choristers, will raise their voices at Linder Auditorium on September 2 in celebration of Renette Bouwer’s 25-year tenure as conductor of the University of Johannesburg’s choir. The New Covenant, is a fitting send-off for Bouwer, highlighting her legacy as conductor, mentor, teacher, and friend to UJ Choir. It speaks to her hope for the future and her unwavering belief in her singers. 

The New Covenant departs from Antjie Krog’s poetry which inscribes our relationship with nature, the planet and the Universe. Performed as a multi-movement mass, the work is both a prayer and a call to action that demands from man their responsibility as earth’s custodians, to care for everything that is sustainably maintained by the cosmos.  

“The strong message of this work deeply reverberates with me. With age I have become increasingly aware of our responsibility towards nature and our planet. So, for me it is the perfect work for UJ Choir and alumni to crown my career at UJ,” says Bouwer. 

The New Covenant composed by Antoni Schonken is written for choir, instrumental ensemble, two pianos and a narrator. The work was translated from the original Afrikaans into English by the poet, Antjie Krog, and arranged by Pieter Bezuidenhout especially for this performance that will be narrated by artist, activist and world-renowned poet, Lebo Mashile. Also on stage are Steffie le Roux (solo), Mareli Stolp and Eugene Joubert (piano) and Magda de Vries and Wian Joubert (percussion). 

“The sound palette of this work is very different from UJ Choir’s normal repertoire. Antoni Schonken did Antjie Krog’s text justice through imaginative use of both conventional and unconventional compositional techniques. The music is constantly in service of the text. I am amazed at how the young students and alumni adapted to new and unusual textures. The juxtaposition of orthodox sacred music forms with secular texts is surely a thought-provoker. 

As I contemplate my impending departure from the choir, I am content in the knowledge that I have instilled more than just artistic values in my singers; without living in harmony with each other our planet, nothing of value can be created.” 

With only two performances, The New Covenant will be presented at the Linder Auditorium on 2 September at 15:00 and 19:30.  

Tickets are limited and are available online from R150 – R260 on https://tinyurl.com/bdts6kka

For more information, please contact Frank Modise via email on acmarketing@uj.ac.za.


UJ Arts & Culture

UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA), produces and presents world-class student and professional arts programmes aligned to the UJ vision of an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. A robust range of arts platforms are offered on all four UJ campuses for students, staff, alumni, and the general public to experience and engage with emerging and established Pan-African and international artists drawn from the full spectrum of the arts.

In addition to UJ Arts & Culture, FADA (www.uj.ac.za/fada) offers programmes in eight creative disciplines, in Art, Design and Architecture, as well as playing home to the NRF SARChI Chair in South African Art & Visual Culture, and the Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre. The faculty has a strong focus on sustainability and relevance, and engages actively with the dynamism, creativity and diversity of Johannesburg in imagining new approaches to art and design education.

About Vekor Productions 

Vektor Productions is a South African production company built and engineered to broaden the diverse artistic landscape of our times. We support, facilitate, and enable artists and projects to expand the experience of the contemporary arts scene.

The aim of Vektor is not simply focused on the incubation, development, presentation, and promotion of new contemporary art; but also to facilitate and foster relationships between members of these communities through our specialized platform. 

At Vektor Productions we believe that artists help shape the way we view the world. Our mission is to enable artists to create through synergy and equitability. Collaborations allow us to embrace our differences; allowing cultures to truly benefit, influence and create through each other – producing art that is invested in the movement of the times.

Vektor is focussed on producing and creating new concert, theatre and album-based projects that helps artists explore new genres of contemporary art relevant to South Africa. To help these albums and productions reach a larger audience, we serve as a platform that showcases the publications of artists.