Click on the image above to listen to the Drakensberg Boys Choir, conducted by alumnus Bernard Krüger, singing pop, contemporary choral and Broadway.

Bernard Krüger joined the Drakensberg Boys Choir in 2016.


An alumnus of note


Alumnus Bernard Krüger started commenced his studies at the then Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education in 1999 and obtained his BMus degree in 2002. He met his wife, Junine, at the conservatory in Potchefstroom.


As a resident of Veritas (an on-campus residence), Bernard took part in cultural activities such as the first years’ concert, Enkelsêr and Bingle-sêr. He would, later in his studies, also help the residence prepare for these events.


Under the mentorship of Awie van Wyk, Bernard sang in the PUK Choir for three years in various vocal registers: baritone, bass, tenor or alto.


Playing hide-and-seek


Asked if he remembers any funny anecdotes, he laughingly tells how, during his first year of study, the entire music class would physically hide in the lecture halls (underneath desks, behind curtains and inside cupboards) to trick the lecturers into thinking they had their rosters mixed up.


“It only worked twice, until the lecturers started talking among each other. The next day we were met by an inquisition of four professors who entered the room together while we were hiding.


“They made themselves comfortable and started having a chat, until one of the girls in our class couldn’t hold in a sneeze! Once we all emerged from our hiding places, we received a full lecture – in quadruple angst and melodrama, on the privilege of tertiary education!”

Success sounds like music to Bernard’s ears

The great Greek philosopher, Plato, was of the opinion that music is a moral law: it gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life.

Bernard Krüger, alumnus of the NWU and renowned artistic director of the Drakensberg Boys Choir (DBC), agrees with Plato. He says the richness of choral expression fosters intercultural goodwill unlike any other societal intervention.


And Bernard would know.


As the artistic director, he plays an important role in shaping the boys who call the Drakensberg Boys Choir School their home. They are selected from across the country and from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.


Together, Bernard and the Drakensberg Boys Choir make music to delight audiences around the world.


Champion of the World Choir Games


This year marked the 10th anniversary of the prestigious World Choir Games (WCG) and it was hosted, for the first time ever, on the African continent.


True to the historic nature of the games, South Africa was crowned the champions, having won a total of 78 medals. Of these, two gold medals belong to the Drakensberg Boys Choir, which won gold in the Champion Competition – with their performance of Abba’s “Does your mother know?” – and in the Scenic Pop Champion Competition.


Bernard, who joined the choir in 2016, says the boys performed three other songs for their competition set: “Feel it Still” (Portugal, The Man), “Now we are free” (theme song of the film Gladiator) and “The Wrong Note Rag” (Leon Bernstein, from Wonderful Town).


With a score of 89,38, the Drakensberg Boys Choir came second in the Children’s Choir section, only 1,6 points behind the Tygerberg Children’s Choir.


What a debut


“Upon entering the competition, we were definitely aiming for the highest possible result, but I honestly didn’t expect to win,” says Bernard, adding that in the 51-year history of the choir, this was their debut in this prestige competition.


Asked how he feels about the choir’s exceptional performance, Bernard says he is ecstatic, especially for the boys.


“I was just doing my job, making music and entertaining people. For the boys it was a cathartic moment; months of hard work culminated in 15 minutes on stage.” In his acceptance speech, Bernard said that music can take you anywhere and singing together brings nations together.


Going all out


Success does not come without sacrifice and hard work, however. In the months leading up to the competition, the choir had a demanding rehearsal schedule. Several motivational speakers contributed towards the choir’s psychological preparedness.


In fact, Bernard laughs and says that the entire school was on a regimen of immune boosters, vitamins and supplements. “The stakes were high, since we knew there would be a lot of pressure and expectation from the public.”


Did you know?


  • 300 choirs from 59 countries took part in the World Choir Games.
  • China finished in second place with 25 medals, Russia in third place with 17 medals and the United States in fourth place with 15 medals.
  • The Drakensberg Old Boys’ Choir, conducted by Herman Swanepoel, won gold in the Male Chamber Choirs section.





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Bernard is married to Junine, who is also an NWU alumna. The couple has three sons.


More about Bernard


  • He says the university was a haven where he met not only his wife, but a plethora of creative, inspiring individuals who helped shape his destiny, his career path and the way he thinks.
  • He also enjoyed a study stint at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague in the Netherlands.
  • He received the Dean’s Trophy as the Best Student in the then Faculty of Arts.
  • His biggest dream is to conduct the Berliner Philharmonic, or a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and at Carnegie Hall, New York.


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NWU & U  |



Front page


On 18 August 2018, Taahirah Zungu and Lwazi Jakuja were crowned Miss and Mr NWU. Taahirah is a first-year sports science student on the campus in Mahikeng and Lwazi is a third-year student in the BCom Economics and Risk Management Extended Programme on the campus in Vanderbijlpark.


Chuwayza Kotze was crowned first princess and Ruandro Minaar first prince. They are both from the campus in Potchefstroom.