The finals evening was on 11 August, with Magrietjie, Jasmyn, Inca, Erika and Madelief performing in the ladies division for the top spot. Maroela, Mopanie, Vividus Men, Olympus and Sonop were the mens finalists. Each residence gave spectacular performances, wowing the audience with incredible harmonies and committed effort.
Residences were also awarded prizes for best original composition and best performance of the prescribed song. Erika took home the prize for best original composition for the ladies, followed by runners-up Madelief. Maroela took home the best original composition title for the men’s residences, followed by Mopanie. Winners for best performance of the prescribed song were Madelief for the ladies, followed by Jasmyn, and Olympus for the men’s residences, followed by runners-up Mopanie.
Erika’s theme was the engaging “Women of Alcatraz”, while Sonop made the audience nostalgic with their theme “Noot vir Noot, reeks 15”. Vividus Men kept audiences laughing with their promotional video, while the ladies from Madelief brought the audience along on the journey of their “Roadtrippin’” performance.
Some notable highlights of the Serenade competition included themes that focused more on socio-political issues, like Magrietjie who humanised drive-through attendants. Olympus were crowd-favourites, becoming particularly popular during prelims for their well-placed solos and their precise harmonies. Another highlight was the presence of boomwhackers, percussive pipes tuned to the notes of a scale. Both Inca and Maroela made use of these colourful PVC pipes to bring a smile to the audience’s faces, especially during Maroela’s “Chariots of fire” item.
An awe-inspiring opera performance by Siyabonga Cyaa was the final highlight of the evening. He collaborated with Millicent Chimonyo, who was also a top-three contestant at the recent UP Arts competition.
The Serenade Gala and finals evenings were preceded by the preliminary rounds between male and female residences and day houses, which were held at the Musaion and Aula from 8-10 August. The event was hosted by Stuku and sponsored by the ATKV. The houses voted to compete anonymously to ensure a free and fair competition and eliminate any possible bias. The prescribed song for the ladies was “Fast car” by Tracy Chapman. The men’s prescribed song was “Waves” by Mr Probz. All residences had to include their respective prescribed song into their repertoire, as well as one original song in Afrikaans.
Erika. Photo: Stefan Stander