Choir conductor says Sama prize is inspiration for future


The composer and conductor Franco Prinsloo and the Vox Chamber Choir walked away with the Sama Award (South African Music Awards) for the best classical or instrumental album of the year on Saturday.

Only a handful of African artists were honored during the event for their contribution to the South African music industry, with singers such as Bernice West, Francois van Coke, Jan Blohm and Ryno Velvet also taking home Sama statuettes.

According to Franco, who founded the Vox Chamber Choir in 2017, it is an “honour and privilege” to be honored with a prestigious award such as a Sama. Their album, Fire Beastwas awarded the prize.

“This is a recognition of the choir’s hard and passionate work, and commitment to the performance of new choral music. I am incredibly proud of the choir,” says Franco to RNews.

Franco is also the founder of the Akademia University Choir. He began his music education at the North-West University’s (NWU) Potchefstroom campus and later continued it at Trinity College London and University of West London’s music school.

The Vox Chamber choir was also honored in September this year with an Aitsa music award in the category for classical track of the year. This is their recording of “Lullaby” which is part of the cycle Ghoora Songs form.

Franco, who created the soundtrack for the kykNET series Dark forest composed and recorded by the Vox Chamber Choir in Cape Town, was also nominated earlier this year for a South African Film and Television Award (Safta) in the category for best performance in original music from a TV drama.

“For me it is so wonderful to receive the recognition because the deeper message of the project is so close to my heart.”

He tells the inspiration for the Fire Beast-album and concerts came after he read a poem by DJ Opperman, entitled “Vuurbees”.

“The album advocates environmental conservation and sustainable human behavior. This award binds the choir even more and creates a sense of community. To be honored in this way also encourages one to continue and keep going knowing that the music really makes an impact on audience members, listeners and ultimately the choir members themselves,” says Franco.

“The Sama figurine not only serves as a symbol of recognition, but also as a source of inspiration for future projects.”