(2009 – 2011)
In 2009 Lhente-Mari Pitout was appointed conductor, and stayed with the choir until 2011. During this time the choir operated with a full annual repertoire, and also participated in bigger works with partners like the Brooklyn Theatre.
Lhente-Mari Pitout is a passionate musician and music educator in the rich traditions of the South African choral field. She works as a musician, conductor and adjudicator in both classical and contemporary genres. She regularly travels to Europe and North America to work as choral clinician or adjudicator at National and International Festivals.
Lhente-Mari finished her studies in Potchefstroom, North West University where she obtained her B.Mus (Performance) in Piano and Voice. She obtained both her Grade 8 certificates for singing and piano from UNISA ( University of South Africa). She furthered her studies in Choral Conducting specializing in a Masters in Choral Conducting. She has been awarded numerous prizes for her contributions to the arts and as a singer and conductor.
She represented South Africa in the World Youth Choir for six years visiting over 15 countries and working with renowned conductors from across the globe, Robert Sund, Nobuaki Tanaka, Andre Thomas, Maria Guinand, Gary Graden, Frieder Bernius, Tonu Kaljuste, Anton Armstrong, Volker Hempfling, Peter Erdei, Jonathan Velasco, Steve Zegree, Bobby Mc Ferrin to name a few.
She was a member and later director of the A Cappella group, Boulevard Harmonists. They toured extensively and participated in all the major South African Music and Arts Festivals as well as representing South Africa in international festivals touring through Europe.
In 2001 she was selected by the IFCM (International Federation of Choral Music) as part of a vocal jazz ensemble. Gold Company director Steve Zegree, conducted this 16 voice jazz ensemble that toured and gave concerts in Belgium, France and South Africa. In 2002 she was selected as a member of World Voices, an elite ensemble consisting of old World Youth Choir members which gathers once a year for international festivals and projects. In 2003 she was one of five musicians recruited for the International S.O.U.L (Singers of United Lands) Project. In 2004 she was chosen as a member of the UNESCO Ambassador of Goodwill World Chamber Choir, a project choir comprising of singers from around the world who are invited to perform with famous conductors, soloists and orchestras.
In 2007 she established the Lesedi Show Choir Project in Heidelberg, Gauteng. This initiative is a project to help amateur artists realize their talents and dreams. The project forms part of HAMACC, Heidelberg Arts Media and Culture Centre model in Gauteng.
In 2008 she was invited to Sweden for the 20th Anniversary of the World Youth Choir, performing in the chamber choir project representing South Africa and chosen to serve on the Alumni board. In 2010 she was invited to the World Youth Choir session in Tenerife/Spain working and conducting the choir as section leader.
Lhente-Mari has been the conductor and musical director of the University of Pretoria Youth Choir since 2005. She is also the conductor of the highly prestigious and awarded Pretoria Boys High School Choir, the choirs of St Albans College and the mixed choir of Kempton Park Hoërskool.
Lhente-Mari is very passionate about the development of the Arts in South Africa, teaching students, singers and artists the expression and realization of dreams and ideas through the performing arts. She is married to Reynhardt Pitout and lives in Pretoria.