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 The MISSION of Voices for Christ

The mission of Voices for Christ is to proclaim to all people, denominations, churches and organizations, the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ through praise and ministry in spiritual song as instructed in Ephesians 5:19 "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord" and Psalm 95:2 "Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song".  There is one thing we do on earth that we will continue to do in Heaven and that is to praise and worship God.  That is why we should view life on earth, for those who love Jesus, as choir practice for Heaven.  One of the most important activities of the human heart is to praise and worship God.  This is the reason we exist.  Supporting this activity is the purpose of Voices for Christ.

Current Group Members

Linda Coetzee (B.Mus.Ed.)

Linda Coetzee (maiden name Richards) is part of an incredibly talented musical family, with a father (Pikkie Richards) that sang and played various instruments, and five brothers who have all been involved with music in some form.

In 1992 she enrolled at the University of Stellenbosch and completed her Music Degree (B.Mus.Ed.) where she majored in Piano and Voice as her two main instruments and which she completed in 1995.

Linda married Dirkie Coetzee in December 1996 and together they started Linda's Music Ministry. Linda started the group name VOICES FOR CHRIST in 1997 with her performance partner Alta Niemandt.

Linda sang in the Johannesburg Symphonic Choir (previously known as the SABC Choir) from 1998 to 2000 under the Conductorship of Richard Kock. The choir performed on a regular basis with the National Symphony Orchestra and often accompanied visiting international artists (one of the highlights being Pavarotti's visit to South Africa at the Union Buildings).

Since finishing her degree, she has performed extensively at events and concerts as soloist or as part of her Music Ministry group VOICES FOR CHRIST. She has released five solo albums, one duet album with her father, and four group albums with VOICES FOR CHRIST.

Linda sings Soprano, Alto and Contralto in VOICES FOR CHRIST.

Velma-Jean Campbell (M.Mus. - Chamber Music - Cum Laude)

At the age of seven, Velma-Jean started with violin lessons at the College of Music in Rondebosch. After matriculating in 1989, she continued violin studies at the University of Stellenbosch. She was awarded the Elise de Villiers Bursary in 1991, 1992 and 1993. Velma-Jean was a member of the University of Stellenbosch Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 1993. She also played in the University of Stellenbosch String Ensemble in 1990 and 1992. In 1993 she graduated from the B.Mus. (Practical) degree after which she started teaching pupils privately from home. While Velma-Jean was taking studies in Performance at the University of Stellenbosch, she took extra lessons in Violin Teaching Methods for two years from Lona Antoniadis. At university she took piano on first instrument level for two years, under Ian Smith and for two years on second instrument level with Melanie Horne.

In 2001 she became a violin teacher at Diocesan College Preparatory School in Rondebosch and still continued teaching privately in the afternoons. While teaching in Rondebosch she completed the B.Mus. Honours degree in Performance, graduating in 2003 from the University of Cape Town. In 2006 she continued her post graduate studies at the University of Stellenbosch, receiving violin lessons from Suzanne Martens. She was awarded the M.Mus. (Chamber Music) degree cum laude in December of 2008.

Currently she still teaches violin at the Curro Sitari School, Somerset House and privately from home. She is the violinist of a music ministry group called VOICES FOR CHRIST which gives performances throughout South Africa.

Bianca Cloete

Bianca Cloete is a highly talented young lady. She is still in high school and excels on all levels. She started recorder lessons at the age of 7, and has taken piano lessons since the age of 8. She, along with her younger sister, have also sung in various groups since a very age.

Since the beginning of 2016 she has sung in VOICES FOR CHRIST as a soprano.

Leonie Cloete

Leonie was born on a farm in the Northern Cape and grew up as part of a family that loved music.  Some of her fondest memories are those of singing with her cousins while washing dishes during family gatherings.  Her high school piano teacher further instilled and nurtured her love for music.  Leonie spent her school years in the small town of Van Rhynsdorp.  She is the youngest of two siblings.

Since she was young she has been interested in music and often entertained her family by playing on her father’s guitar or the piano during evening family time.  She sang in the school choir in primary school, and also took piano lessons throughout her school career.  From childhood the church played a large role in developing her love for music by giving her the opportunity to play the organ during services.

On completion of her school career, she spread her wings and relocated to the fairest Cape.  She started working for a large insurance company although this was not her ultimate goal in life.  In the Cape she joined a church where she connected with a network of musicians and since then, for the past fourteen years, she has been singing in various gospel groups.

Leonie is the 1st Soprano for VOICES FOR CHRIST.

Elsabé Genade

The quote “Leading by example” is not to be taken lightly…. Growing up in a religious household, with strong traditional values, gave Elsabé the strength and commitment that makes her flourish today.  Being part of a rather large family community, where all brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces went to the same church, made growing up fun and the interaction with people became a way of life – definitely to be missed if absent in one’s life.

The first few years of adulthood was spent at a large Insurance Company where she focused on bettering her skills in administration, training and people management.  In the 1990’s the buzz was all about people management, and this was where she found herself.  Loving to work with people, Elsabé soon realized that God can work in many ways, and “leading by example” can have a strong influence.

Staying on top of things, trying not to lose your cool, and always asking God to lead you was the answer to success and happiness at home and in the workplace.  Focused on finishing the last bit of work before going home did not leave much time for office romance…..One of life’s mysteries was probably when she fell in love with her husband Dean.  The couple shares a very busy life together, where both working parents strive to reach the highest goals in life.  Happily married with two adorable kids, Caragh and Caylan, makes the challenges of life all worthwhile.

Currently Elsabé is the Managing Director of an outsourcing firm, specializing in Call Centre and administration solutions.  The challenge of running a business and being mom is often underestimated.  The saving grace, more than often, is the interaction with the “girls” at practice session.  Being part of Voices for Christ has become one of life’s “must have” experiences.  God gives us opportunities in life – we should grab them wholeheartedly.

Elsabé sings Soprano and Alto in VOICES FOR CHRIST.

Gerda Van Biljon

Born & raised in Cape Town South Africa, this brown eyed brunette has been passionate about life since the day she came into this world.  Born as a premature baby, only big enough to fit into a size 10 shoe box, she was determined to live up to the saying: “Dynamite comes in small packages”. From an early age she has proven to be very independent or headstrong as her family would say.  Never the less a quality that has shaped her to become a person that never gives up, who enjoys life for its beauty and flaws.  Someone who rises to the challenge, strives for excellence, and appreciates the little things in life.

The middle child of a family of five (an older sister, Elsabé, and a younger brother, Riaan) she grew up surrounded by music.  With uncles and aunts that would sing songs in 4 part harmony during Christmas time and cousins singing A Capella while doing the dishes, it's not hard to imagine where this love of music grew from.  Singing in church since the age of 8 and playing the guitar since the age of 13, Gerda had no formal musical training.  Though she sang in the choir in both Primary and High School, she never mastered the art of reading sheet music.  Playing by ear has become her biggest ally - a true gift from God; one that for her, surpasses all understanding.  ”Some people dream dreams, I hear music” a phenomena that has inspired many a song & close harmony.

Besides music, drawing is another passion she pursued ever since she can remember!  Always scribbling away on any piece of paper she could find, this past-time turned into a life long dream.  Graduating from High school in 1992 she went on to study Graphic design at the Cape Town University of Technology, graduating in 1995, majoring in Illustration & Photography (ND in Graphic Design).  From there she accepted an assistant position in the Photographic Department, teaching basic photography to 1st year Design students.  During this time she also completed her (NHD in Graphic Design (1997)), specializing in Children’s book illustration.  In 1999 she moved to the USA for 2 years, a time which both spiritually & creatively was a turning point in her life.  She returned in 2001 and shifted focus from advertising into fashion.

Today she is a qualified Graphic & Textile Designer, designing fabric for a major Fashion design house.  Though the hours are sometimes long, the creative journey is the reward.  “God has blessed me with so much to be inspired by: my family, my friends, my dog and the people I’ve met over the years in everyday life".  “If Life is a song, then its one that never runs out of verses.  You might repeat the chorus every now and then, but the verses never stay the same“.  As the latest member of Voices for Christ, I am blessed to have had this opportunity to record an album with 5 amazing women.  I hope that the album will change the hearts & minds of people that listen to it.

Gerda sings Soprano, Alto and Contralto in VOICES FOR CHRIST.

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