Like most immigrant communities in SA we also experience difficulties in recruiting new members for our choir! Hence at the outset we would like to appeal to any interested party to please join us in order to swell ranks. We hold regular rehearsals on Thursday evenings and have an active social program where traditional songs in the official Swiss languages - Swiss German, French and Italian are performed, and even the odd one in Romansch.
The Swiss Choir was founded in 1953 by a band of young Swiss immigrants as the Swiss Male Choir in order that they may practice their traditional Swiss folklore. The same year on 1st of August, the Swiss National Day, the first public performance was given at the Swiss Club, located at the time in Wynberg.
The original MD, Prof R Gaillard was followed by Kurt Buri which first introduced the SMC to Yodel songs. An important mile stone for the choir was in 1971 when it became a full member of the Swiss Federal Association of Yodel Clubs, which enabled it to take part at Festivals such as the 1984 Pacific Coast Swiss Yodeling Festival in the USA. Thereafter the choir took part regularly at the tri-annual Yodeling Festivals in Switzerland, most recently in Fribourg under the baton of our present MD, Carel de Graaff, who has been with us since 1999.
Alas times are changing and young Swiss immigrants became less and less. Hence in 1999 we had to change the constitution as well as the name of the choir to Swiss Choir Johannesburg, to allow us to welcome Ladies as well as non-Swiss members into our ranks. While this momentarily may have stemmed the tide of natural attrition we now have to embark on an active membership drive, hence our appeal to you all.
Neue Mitglieder sind also herzlich wilkommen!
For details please contact our Chairman Armand Salutt on 082 894 5728, or Vincent Scheidegger on 072 621 2051