UP Youth Choir

Lhente-Mari Pitout

Artistic Director

Lhente-Mari Pitout, an acclaimed musician and music educator, has dedicated her life to promoting the rich traditions of the South African choral field. As a conductor, musician, and adjudicator in both classical and contemporary genres, she has gained a reputation as one of the most highly esteemed female educators and choral conductors in South Africa.

With a passion for music education, Lhente has worked tirelessly to promote the development of the arts in South Africa. Her commitment to the performing arts has earned her numerous awards, including recognition as a singer and conductor. Several organizations have awarded her prizes for her contributions to the arts.

Lhente’s reputation as a choral clinician and adjudicator has taken her to Europe and North America, where she has conducted at national and international festivals. Singers and conductors worldwide respect her as a choral expert, and she has shared her expertise with them.

Lhente has conducted the UP Youth Choir since 2005, and she is also the conductor of the highly prestigious and award-winning Pretoria Boys High School Choir and the St Mary’s Singers. She has co-founded the South African Youth Music and Arts Development Foundation, which seeks to empower young people through music education and other artistic endeavors.

Renowned conductors from across the globe recognized Lhente’s passion for music and talent as a musician at a young age when she had the opportunity to work and sing with them. These experiences shaped her into the accomplished educator and conductor she is today.

During her six years representing South Africa in the World Youth Choir and World Chamber Choir, Lhente toured and performed in over 15 countries. She worked with conductors such as Frieder Bernius, Tonu Kaljuste, Kåre Hanken, Robert Sund, María Guinand, André Thomas, Paul Smith, Anton Armstrong, Philippe Eskerei, Peter Erdei, Gary Graden, Steve Zegree, Michelle Weir, Roberto Gini, Peter Deijkstra, Volker Hempfling, Nobuaki Tanaka, and Bobby McFarrin.

Lhente has served on numerous boards, including the World Youth Choir, and she acts as a representative of UNESCO with the title Ambassador of Good Will, World Chamber Choir.

Through her work as an educator, conductor, and ambassador, Lhente has inspired countless students, singers, and artists to express themselves and realize their dreams through the performing arts. Her contributions to the South African choral field and the arts community at large have made her a respected and beloved figure in the world of music.