Jannie Kritzinger, a pianist, organist, singer, and conductor, has taught music at junior high through college level for over twenty years. He is presently head of the music department at Helderberg College in South Africa, a position he has held since 1996.
Kritzinger was born in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa, the son of Johann Andries Kritzinger and Violet Vivian Sterley, and raised on a farm in Langkloof, Eastern Cape. He grew up in a home where the singing of hymns was a way of life, and by age four he was playing the piano by ear.
He studied music in grades 8-12 at McLachlan High School in Joubertina and took piano and theory exams through the University of South Africa Music Exam program (UNISA), completing grade seven in piano and Junior musicianship (theory) by the time he graduated from high school in 1977.
During those years, he found study with Lina Honiball to be particularly inspiring. Kritzinger served the school as accompanist for the high school choir, as well as musician for assembly each week. He also played the organ at Langkloof SDA Church during his high school years.
In 1978, Kritzinger enrolled at the University of Stellenbosch, where he was awarded a number of bursaries (scholarships) for academic excellence. He completed a Hons.B.Mus.Ed. cum laude in 1982 with piano and organ as his performance areas, having studied with professors Richard Berens, Reino Ottermann, and Winfried Lüdemann, and with David Müller, Pieter De Lange, and others.
He later also completed with distinction grade eight in singing through the Unisa program, having studied voice with Wilhelmina (Wil) Dunbar, Maryna Bull, Minette du Toit and professor George van der Spuy. He is currently completing an M.Mus. in education at US.
Kritzinger began teaching music at the Junior Secondary School in Oshakati, Namibia, where he taught for two years before teaching at Bellville High School for the next two years, from 1984 to 1986. Following this he was a Music Lecturer at Tygerberg College for eight years before assuming his present position as Lecturer, choir director, and head of the music department at Helderberg College in 1996.
He has taken numerous choir tours with the HC choir and produced fifteen CD's with that group. Of particular note is a Millennium four-CD set they released in 2000. Many of his students have successfully participated in the Unisa exam program and several have appeared on the "Roll of Honour" for outstanding achievers. While he was at Tygerberg College, one of his students, Andre Roux, was awarded the Hennie Joubert Bursury Award for outstanding achievement in music theory.
Kritzinger also composes and arranges music. He produced a music drama, God's Call to Abraham which was presented by the Helderberg Singers and composed the music for a short film, Annie's Pictures by Mark Lietzke. His most recent composition is a new College Song (an anthem) for Helderberg College.
A frequent accompanist, Kritzinger has also served as a church organist for many years in Adventist, Dutch Reformed, and Presbyterian churches. He was a member of the Sanlam choir in Bellville from 1979-1982. From 1985 to 1986, he served as treasurer for the South African Society of Music Teachers (SASMT), the oldest professional music society in South Africa.
In 1990, he married Elize Hall, a professional nurse in critical care, management, and education. They have two daughters, Alicea and Nadia, accomplished performers in cello and violin, respectively.
Source: IAMA Biography Information form completed by Jannie Kritzinger and subsequent emails from him in
February 2011; web sites for Unisa and SASMT.