top of page
Cantare Children's Choir

Our Story, A Brief History

The Cantare Children’s Choir Organisation consists of children and youth aged between 6 and 24 years from the Southern Gauteng and Greater Ekurhuleni district.

The Children’s Choir was founded in 1995 in collaboration with the Southern Gauteng Education Department.  The Cantare Choir has excelled as one of the best children’s choirs in South Africa and has international recognition.
The Cantare Children's Concert Choir (aged 10 and 15 years)
Harmonia Girls Choir (Aged 14 to 24 years)
Dulcet Development Choir (aged 6 to 10 years)
Our outreach programme with 3 development choirs in Thokoza, Katlehong and Tembisa was established in 2004 with sponsorship from the National Lottery Commission.

Harmonia Girls’ Choir was established in 2007

The choirs are selected from approximately 40 different schools in these regions. 79% of these choristers come from historically disadvantaged areas and participate in our development programme. We believe that we are the largest organisation of this kind in South Africa.

Music School:
In 2020 a music school was established in Soweto.



Christelle Engelbrect is appointed the new conductor of the Cantare Choir and immediately takes the choir to new heights.  Participation in Udumo and Choral Celebrations’ National concerts. 


Participation in Talent Africa Regionals.  Qualify for Nationals.
Projects with Mzansi Youth Choir and Children for Children project with Tygerberg Children's Choir and Children’s Choirs of Africa. The choir also participated in the Virtual World Choir Games, Flanders, Belgium and received an award in the category "Very Good".


Winners of International Championships of Talent America (Virtual Competition) being crowned as the Production Champions and winning the International High Score award. 
Participation in 3 virtual concerts hosted by the Choral Celebration Network Foundation of South Africa.

Choral workshop with Mzansi Youth Choir sponsored by National Lottery Commission.  
Organise and host a Choral Workshop with Christo Burger for choir leaders in our community at Randhart Primary School.  Fundraising concert with Mathys Roets 
Host “All-Stars” Music Talent Show at the Art Farm. Concert with Hanco, All-Stars winners:  Bonolo Ramoeletsi, Jaden Mollett, Carla Pieterse, Tamara Zwane and the Colla Voce youth choir as a guest choir.   


Releases  CD: “If we only have love” Sponsored by The Art Farm and Be your Dream
Host Alberton Community Awards:  Guest artists Anaïs and  Paulus Mogale.   Sponsors: Be Your Dream. 
FAK awards with Jannie du Toit as a guest artist.  Participating choirs: Alberton Male Choir. Concordia and Elspark Primary Schools.  Concert with Anina Wasserman, Coert Grobbelaar. Lisa Katzke and Leon Ludick.


Participation in the   World Choir Games Tshwane receiving a silver medal in Champions Competition for Children’s Choirs.   Host FAK awards with Rina Hugo as a guest artist.  Host a WCG Choral celebration at the Linder Auditorium with Jacaranda CC, Rustenburg and Linden High Schools, Randburg Male Choir. Christmas concert with 4 Tenors, Phiwe Makaula, Mmusi Morekhure, Lucky Sibande and Coert Grobbelaar. 
Christmas Concert with Drakensberg Boys’ Choir and Bronberg Children’s Choir.  
Participation in the National Children’s Choir Festival hosted by Jacaranda CC, Pretoria.


Began with a bang when the choir produced “Alice in Wonderland Jnr” sponsored by the Department of Gauteng Sports Arts and Culture.  
Host FAK awards with Sonja Herholdt and Coert Grobbelaar as guest artists, Alberton Male choir, Brackenhurst, Dalmondeor Primary Schools and Waterstone College.  
Opened the 5th Gender Mainstream Awards with the National Anthem in September.  Performed at Nestle   International’s Annual workshop and Awards evening in December 2017.
“Polfyntjies for Christmas” with Rochelle and Michelle Veenemans, Phiwe Makaula and Alberton Male Choir.
Hight Tea with Ryan Walt and Steven Sterling.


Participation in the Golden Voices of Montserrat Festival and Competition, Lloret de Mar, Spain.  Grand Prix Winners of the Traditional Folklore Competition with 100% and First Prize in Academic singing.  Sponsorship NUPAY  
Host FAK awards with Laurika Rauch as guest and Rand Refrein, Leeuwenhof and Brackenhurst primary as guest choirs.  Visiting, honouring, and singing to Mimi Coertzs on her 84th birthday.  
Guest choir at the annual Christmas Concert of Mimi Coertse and Friends. 
Gold award at the Animato National Competition.  Guest Choir at the opening of Cop17, international conference of the parties of the UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE.


20th Anniversary at UJ with guest artists: Franz Geldenhuys, Colla Voce Youth Choir and  Alumni, Hanno Zeeman (Navy Redd), Anaïs, Clarise Pieterse, Musa  Shongwe.


Participation in the Music of the Mountains Festival with the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir
Host the Rhythm and Blues Music Festival with Elvis Blue, Tanya Vilancé, Gerhard Steyn, and Cantare Alumni: Anaïs, Tamlyn G, Tiaan Nortje, Donae Bazer, Jessica Venter. Participation at the Klipkoppie Festival, Alberton. Performance with Deidre Blignaut at Alberton-South NG Church.  
Christmas Concert with Jo-nette Lekay and Coert Grobbelaar.


Open the National Teachers’ awards at the Gallagher Convention Centre.
Hosts the choir of Winterthur Conservatorium. 
Host concert with Ryan Walt and Steven Sterling at Alberton Civic Centre. Guest Choirs Glenanda, Brackenhurst and Leeuwenhof Primary Schools.
Participate in “Reach for a Dream” project for Kristi Louw and Robyn van Rooyen
Concert with Jannie Moolman.  Recordings with Amore, Jack Stone and Laky.
Releases its Christmas CD  3 December 2013


Participation in the VII Advent and Christmas Festival in Bratislava – second Place and Golden Band with 90%.  Sponsorship for 4 children from the Ekurhuleni Arts Culture and Heritage.
Participation in the Music of the Mountains Festival with the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir.   
Participation in the Ihlombe South African Choral Festival, (The largest International Choral Gathering in South Africa) hosting the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus from the USA.


Cantare Children’s Choir: Winners of the section Children’s Choirs of the Animato National competition for Children’s, Youth and University Choirs. Harmonia: Second place in the section for girls’ choirs. Participation in the Ihlombe Choral Festival, hosting the Miami Children’s Chorus from the USA.


Touring Choir: (Combination of Cantare and Harmonia Choirs) Participation in the International Llangollen Eisteddfod, Wales. Winners of the Section Folk Showcase with 90%. 
Bon Voyage Concert with Jacaranda CC and Welsh Male Choir.  Performance with: Joshua na die Reën.  
Harmonia Girls’ Choir: Winners of the Animato National competition - Section: Girls’ Choirs. 


Touring Choir: Participation in the 5th World Choir Games in Graz, Austria -the choir receives a Gold Medal in section Gospel and Spiritual and two Silver Medals in the Children’s Choir and Popular Music.  
Winners of the DSTV Channel 331, OneGospel Choral Competition. 
Harmonia: Winners of Gauteng Section of Animato National Choral Competition for Youth 
Choirs, 2nd place nationally
Releases its 5th CD “I’m going to sing”.


Harmonia: Winners of the Tehila Radio Pulpit Choral competition for Youth Choirs 
Cantare and Harmonia: Participation in SABC 2 “12 Days of Christmas” with Andre Schwartz Gloria Bosman and TV celebrity, Johann Stemmet hosted by Ukhozi Productions.
Choir festival with Rina Hugo and Jannie Moolman as guest artists. Participating choirs: Randrefrein, Theo Wassenaar,  Orion, Elspark Jnr and Sen choirs.


Participation in the 4th World Choir Games in Xiamen China.  Silver medallists in the Children’s choir competition. Award from the South African Choral Society for: Outstanding Children’s Choir.


The Choir participated in the Third Choir Olympics in Bremen, Germany and received a Golden Diploma and a Bronze medal in the section: Folklore a Cappella.    This was also the year when three development choirs in Tokoza, Katlehong and Tembisa were founded under the auspices of the Cantare Children’s Choir Development programme. These choirs are sponsored by the NLDTF. 
Performance with Manuel Escorcio.  The choir releases its 4th CD, Laudate Dominum. 
The choir is awarded “ Outstanding Children’s Choir”  by the South African Choral Society.


The choir participated in the Music of the Mountains Festival, hosted by the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir
Choir is registered as Section 21 company and NPO. 2002: Participation in the National Phillip McLachlan workshop in Bloemfontein, organised by the South African Choral Society.  Releases 3rd CD, “Ke Ngwana Mo Africa”.  Performances with Rina Hugo, Juanita du Plessis, Jodan, Franz Geldenhuys and Coert Grobbelaar.


Performance with Touch of Class and Cutt Glas.  Train tour to Kimberley and Gala Evening with Kimberley CC at their famous Art Gallery.  Choir receives open membership from NG Alberton North.


Releases its 2nd CD ” You’ll never walk alone”.  Invited to participate in the choir games in Linz, Austria. Could not attend due to agent not fulfilling his obligations.  
Performance with Andre Schwartz Alberton Civic Centre.


Participate in the UNISA Intermediate Choir Examination for Children and Youth Choirs.  Passes with honours.  Alberton City Council awarded the choir a silver medal.  Tour to Drakensberg.


The choir receives a Golden Award and first place at the First International Children’s and Youth Choir competition, Pretoria. Tour by train to Nelspruit. Concert with Alberton male choir.  The choir is awarded golden medal by the Alberton City Council.


Releases its first CD with sound recordings 1995 - 1997


Tour to the Western, Eastern Cape and Kimbertley. Participation in the Rimpel Feast KKNK, Oudtshoorn.  Workshop at Parrow Training Centre for Teachers, Hennie Loock.  Broadcast on SABC 1 Sweet Melodies.  Our first choir festival with local choirs at the Alberton Civic Centre.


The first rehearsal starts on 12 January 1995.  Privatisation of choir and competition to establish the choir’s name.


Negotiations with the Department of Education Southern Gauteng for establishing the Southern Gauteng Children’s Choir. 


2004 – 2021

Sponsorship from the National Lottery Commission to establish 3 development choirs in Thokoza, Katlehong and Tembisa to develop children with exceptional singing talent and musical skills.  Annually the best of the children in these choirs are selected for our concert and tour choir. The NLC sponsored children to accompany the choir to the World Choir Games in Germany 2004, China 2006, Austria 2008 as well as the International Eisteddfod in Wales to participate in the Choir of the World competition in Llangollen.
The choir is venturing into music schools for underprivileged children of which the first was established in Soweto under the tutoring of Mr Zion Ndlovo.  

bottom of page