Choir hopes to earn top award

2009-12-10 00:00

FOUR KwaZulu-Natal choirs will be hoping to take top honours at the Old Mutual National Choir Fest ival finals on December 12 and 13.

Flying the flag in the Standard category is the Mayibuye I-Afrika Choir from Pietermaritzburg and the Clermont­ Community Choir from Clermont­. In the Large category the finalists­ are the South African Singers and African Chorus, which are both from Durban.

Mayibuye I-Afrika, the 2008 national champions, will defend its title­ in the standard category. Formed in 1991, the choir has enjoyed tremendous success, including recording two CDs, Let’s All Sing and Dumisani uJehova. It has also performed Handel’s Messiah­ with the Maritzburg Singers, the Pietermaritzburg Choral Society and the Pietermaritzburg Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of John Mitchell, and sang at the Heritage Day celebrations in KwaDukuza in September.

The choir will compete for prize money totalling R66 000 in the Standard category, with the winner taking home R27 000, second place R22 000 and third place R17 000.

The African Chorus has represented KwaZulu-Natal at the national finals­ for seven consecutive years since 2002. It has won the Champion of Champions category at the 2007 national finals, which gave the choir automatic­ entry into this year’s competition.

The South African Singers have represented KZN every year in the Large category since 2000, apart from 2006, placing in the top three on numerous occasions and winning the category in 2001. The choir was formed in 1999 by conductor Vusi Khanyile­.

This year the festival, which takes place at the University of Pretoria’s Rembrandt Hall, celebrates 32 years of promoting choral music. Started in 1978, it has developed into the country’s biggest and most prestigious choral music event. Choirs from all over South Africa, as well as Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe, will take part. Tickets are available from Computicket.

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