Gerard'd du Toit

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Gérard'd du Toit (born in Nelspruit, South Africa) is a composer and a conductor. Since 1996 he has been the artistic director of the KwaZulu-Natal Youth Choir. Previous choirs commanded by him include the Panasonic Highveld and Youth Choir and the Drakensberg Boys' Choir School where he served as choirmaster.[1]

History[edit]

Gérard’d du Toit was born in Nelspruit and started his formal music training at the age of 11. He matriculated at Hoërskool Nelspruit in 1975 and enrolled for a B.Mus Performance degree at the University of Pretoria. His studies included organ and formal voice training. In 1987 he completed the Teachers Licentiate in flute at UNISA. In 1992 he completed the B.Mus Honours Degree at the University of Pretoria, majoring in a thesis on the formal training of the boy’s voice while it is changing He is a member and soloist of the UNISA Ad Libitum Choir. In 1986, Gérard’d was appointed Choirmaster of the world famous Drakensberg Boys’ Choir School. He was appointed by the Board of Directors to accompany the choir on its 21st Birthday tour to Europe, as Conductor. In 1990 Gérard’d was appointed as a staff member at Hoërskool Ermelo where he founded the Hoëveld Children’s Choir. The choir became the Panasonic Highveld and Youth Choir with a reputation for excellence. He was appointed the Head of the Music and Ballet Departments in 1994 and received a gold medal from the Director of Education for outstanding work in the choral field. In 1993 he started the National Werner Nel Song and Art Festival in Ermelo.

In 1994 Gérard’d toured with the Panasonic Highveld and Youth Choir in Egypt and Israel. The choir was the first to perform in the Cairo Opera House. In 1995 Gérard’d toured Egypt, Israel, England and Europe to investigate the possibility of an international Choir Competition in South Africa.

In 1996 Gérard’d was appointed Chapel Choirmaster at Michaelhouse, an independent Boys’ School in Kwazulu-Natal, where he held the position of Director of Music.

In August 1996 he was appointed Artistic Director of the Kwazulu-Natal Youth Choir. In 2001 Gérard’d attended the International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf as well as the advanced Choirmasters Seminar. He was one of seven conductors who conducted in the final closing concert, conducting the Portland State University Choir of the United States. In 2002 Gérard’d attended the “Isola Del Sole” Choir Competition in Grado, Italy, and had private Conducting Master Classes under the guidance of the world famous Robert Sund, conductor of the “Orphei Dranger” Men’s Choir in Sweden. In July 2002 Gérard’d had Vocal Master Classes in Moscow, Russia, under the guidance of Professor Victor Emeljanov. In September Gerard’d was one of the clinicians at the sought-after Philip MacLachlan Choir Seminar which was held in Bloemfontein.

Gérard’d was invited in 2003 to give Vocal Master classes in Estonia, to attend the 8th International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf and the Choirmasters’ Seminar based on his results in 2001 to attend the Tampere Festival in Finland and to participate in the first Eric Ericsson Conductors Competition in Sweden. Gérard’d visited Estonia in December 2004 where he attended and worked with various choirs in Tallinn. He also sat in on the Winter Exams for young Choral Conductors at the Specialised Music School in Tallinn. In July 2005 he gave Master Classes in Slovenia, with the resident choir the Ljubljana Madrigalist under the baton of Andreja Martinjak. Gérard’d was awarded “Outstanding Conductor of the Year” by the South African Choral Society on 15 October 2005. He has been appointed by Interkultur Foundation, Musica-Mundi, as the South African Partner for the 4th World Choir Games which took place in Xiamen, China in July 2006.

Since January 2007 Gérard’d has been appointed as “Head of the Music Department” at the Deutsche Schule Hermannsburg, in the Natal Midlands.

Gérard’d has been invited to examine, in December 2008, in The Baltic States; sitting in on the winter exams for young Choral Conductors and to visit music schools in Berlin, Germany to assess the development of Subject Music in Germany. In 2010 Gérard'd was invited to adjudicate at the Cecilia Seghizzi International Choir Competition in Gorizia, Italy.

Career[edit]

References[edit]

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