Choral genre revived

KROONSTAD. – As part of its endeavour to promote choral music in the province, the Free State Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation will host Clap and Tap choral competitions at the Primary School Phomolong in Kroonstad on Sunday, 4 September.

Altogether 25 Clap and Tap choirs from four districts and a metro will compete for the big prize of R50 000.

Clap and Tap has been one of the most popular musical genres, but has been marginalised by the music industry. It has played a vital role in fostering social cohesion by spreading messages of hope and unity in communities.

The choirs that will participate are a cappella groups, commonly known as Clap and Tap ensembles. They originated from African indigenous apostolic denominations.

The competition started early in May with local knock-out rounds, followed by district knock-outs. The final leg of the competition will be at the provincial level, where all winners from the districts will be competing.

Tankiso Zola, director of communications and IT at the Department, said it has been noted that some choirs have hosted regular concerts independently, with no financing or support from established bodies, to revive and keep the genre alive within communities and that they have generated very little income to sustain themselves.

“Most of them consist of more than 20 members in a group and the critical challenge for them is development and empowerment that will enable them to participate in the mainstream, as well as generate sustainable income. Thus, the Department took a decision to revive this genre and support it financially. There are prize money to be won from local to district to provincial level in order for choirs to be able to sustain themselves,” he said.

“The passion and support for this genre is overwhelming within various communities, from rural to urban areas,” said Mathabo Leeto, the MEC for the Department. Most of these Free State choirs do not enjoy fair exposure in both radio and television, leaving them unmotivated and not reaching more audiences, like other genres. This has resulted in them becoming demoralised, making it difficult for them to sustain the genre.

“By hosting these competitions, we intend to elevate this specific genre of music,” she said.

Local prizes:

1st position: R3 000

2nd position: R2 000

3rd position: R1 000

District prizes:

1st position: R10 000

2nd position: R5 000

3rd position: R2 500

4th position: R1 500

5th position: R1 000

Provincial prizes:

1st position: R50 000

2nd position: R25 000

3rd position: R15 0000

4th position: R10 000

5th position: R5 000

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