Awie’s swan song
After 36 years Prof Awie van Wyk retired in December last year as choir leader of the NWU-Puk by saying farewell to the university on a high note.
The NWU-Puk took part in the Prague International Christmas and Choir Festival from 9 to 12 December where they took the honours in the category for big choirs, and they were also crowned the overall winner.
“It was an unbelievable experience, I was so proud of the choir. It was the perfect way to end my time with the choir,” said the 62 year-old with a soft spot for progressive jazz music.
“I’ve been overseas so many times in my life I can’t even count how many times I crossed the border. The NWU-Puk was very good to me.”
His highlight was when former President Nelson Mandela danced with the NWU-Puk choir.
“He really has a lot of charisma; there is just something about him that I cannot describe.”
Although Van Wyk does not have any fixed plans for the future, a holiday in the Karoo is in store for him, from where he will consider his options.
“It takes forever to pack up all my things. You know, it’s a lifetime. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do next, but there are many options.”
Be it as it may, his music, his food of life, will last a long time.
“Music concerts to beauty ... to pure gold. It’s the,” he hesitates, “It’s the all of humanity.”
“Good music is like good friends. It’s a long way that one walks together – 62 years on this earth is just not enough time to appreciate everything.”
“And music builds bridges between people; I’ve seen it with my own eyes. It brings people closer to each other.
Awie van Wyk with the NWU-Puk choir in Prague.