KZN choirs compete

2009-09-24 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL choirs will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of the ­Pietermaritzburg-based Mayibuye ­I-Afrika Choir, conducted by Muzi Buthelezi, when the regional championships of the Old Mutual Choir Festival take place in the Durban City Hall on September 27.

The Mayibue I-Afrika Choir, the ­national defending champion in the standard category, will compete for R42 000 and the chance to sing at the national finals on December 12 and 13 at the University of Pretoria.

Another KZN choir headed to the national finals is African Chorus from Umlazi. It won the Champ of Champs category in 2007 at the ICC.

Both choirs will be joined by the two champion choirs in the standard and large categories from the KwaZulu-Natal regional championship.

The National Choir Festival, celebrating its 32nd event, started in 1978 and has evolved into the country’s oldest, and most prestigious choral music event. Choirs from South Africa, ­Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe participate in the event.

Joy Khaole, brand expression manager for Old Mutual, said the company is committed to showcasing the tremendous choral music talent in southern Africa.

“We have supported this competition for the past 21 years and it continues to produce top quality choristers who go on to perform both locally and internationally,” added Khaole.

Fourteen choirs have registered in the KZN standard category (30 to 48 choristers), and will choose as their African song either Barali Ba Jerusalema or Ruri, both by Mosoeu Michael Moerane. A new champion will emerge in this category. As defending champions Mayibuye I-Afrika Choir already have their national finals ticket secured.

Apart from choosing one African song, choirs also choose one of two Western songs — Come Gentle Spring from The Seasons or Agnus Dei from Nelson Mass, both by Franz Joseph Haydn.

“The melodic sounds of the orchestra during the Western pieces and the vibrant, colourful performances of the indigenous pieces, along with the audience appreciation and participation, offer a ‘wow’ experience that is enjoyed by all who value and love music at the national finals,” said Thokozani Mkhize Ndlovu, chairperson for the National Choir Festival.

Five choirs will participate in the large category (49 to 60 choristers) and each choir will sing either Matlala or Mankokotsane, both by M. M. Moerane. The large category champion, The Sounds of Joy Chorale, will be hoping to defend the title and make it through to the national finals.

As in the standard category, choirs also have a choice of two Western songs: Haydn’s Sanctus et Benedictus from Theresian Mass or Then Comes the Dawn from The Seasons.


• The KwaZulu-Natal competition starts at 9 am. Tickets priced at R25 are available at the door.

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