While VOX Cape Town aims to promote South African choral music by performing local compositions, it also supports the genesis of new music to expand and invigorate the local choral repertoire. To demonstrate its commitment to contemporary South African choral music, VOX intends to commission new music from local composers on an annual basis.

The first of these commissions is “Christmas in Africa” (2017), a setting by Maike Watson of a poem written by Margaret Kollmer. This work will receive its premiere at this year’s Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in December and will also be broadcast on Fine Music Radio at 18h00 on Christmas Eve.


Music by Maike Watson

Maike Watson (previously Gevers) is a Cape Town-based composer and performer. Throughout her childhood she played a variety of instruments from classical to jazz and rock. After completing a BSc (Mathematics) in 2009, she continued to study music and graduated with a MMus cum laude in 2013 after which she started a business working as a composer and music producer for the film, media and gaming industry. She has since worked on international feature films, pc, xbox, smartphone and tablet games as well as written and arranged music for international musicals and local groups. Her latest piano work, “Prälüd”, will be making its premiere at the ISCM festival in Vancouver in November 2017. In addition to her work as a freelance composer and music producer, she is currently studying composition part-time under Professor Hofmeyr at UCT.

Words by Margaret Kollmer

John has asked me to provide some biog. detail about me as writer of the Christmas Song which all you wonderful musicians are going to orchestrate, play and perform at the end of the year. Oh lucky me! I want to write something interesting but it is so hard to be humble! Heh heh. It is also quite a boring thing to do having lived with the knowledge of all my various exploits for such a long time. I am, after all, an ipso fatso octo. So okay – it’s my Irish genes that are to blame for my happy forays into the world of words and music. And for my Gran’s wildly competitive spirit that dares to tempt the mischievous muse that lives deeply within. Poetry, pithy chatter; the esoteric and the ethereal. Creative writing at its best; these I have loved but it has been in the world of consumer trade contests that I came into my own. I had to win. And did. Many times. It’s all in the laugh. The smile, the grimace, the eye roll. Just touch my heart and I’ll be there. (Good song title there…)