FS choirs ready to compete for choral music’s biggest prize

The popular Ndendwe Choral Society take part together with 12 others choirs from all over the province in the 2016 KZN Old Mutual Choir Regional Competition Finals at the Durban City hall yesterday.The National Finals will take place on the 10th and 11th of December in Johnnesburg.PHOTO:RAJESH JANTILAL

Some of Southern Africa’s finest voices will be on display when choirs take to the stage at the Free State regional championships of the Old Mutual National Choir Festival at the Boet Troskie Hall at CUT Campus on Saturday, 17 September.

Billed as a choral showdown, featuring more than 100 choirs from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Swaziland. This annual competition is one of the longest running and most successful choral music events on the subcontinent, igniting the passion of musicians and thrilling their fans and supporters

This year’s competition will see choirs performing songs from the following prescribed music:

Large Category Western Pieces:

  1. Voici Des roses + Songe de faust from La damnation de faust by Berlioz
  2. Rex tremendae + Sanctus from Requiem by Berlioz
  3. Inflammatus + In sempiterna saecula from Stabat meter by Rossini

Large Category African Pieces:

  1. Kwabanjalo by J.S.P. Motuba
  2. Bulang Dikgoro by J.S.P. Motuba

Standard Category Western Pieces:

  1. Ronde Des paysans from La damnation de faust by Berlioz
  2. Chant de la fete de paques from La damnation de faust by Berlioz
  3. Agnus dei from St. Cecilia Mass by Gounod

Standard Categorry African Pieces:

  1. Mokgosi ga se molaletsa by H K Pule
  2. Selelo sa setŠhaba by H K Pule

In the standard category (30 – 48 choristers); African Sweet Melodies (Gauteng), Belcanto Singers (Eastern Cape), Diamond City Chorus (Northern Cape), Chitungwiza Harmony Singers (Zimbabwe) and Prince Mshiyeni Choir (KwaZulu-Natal) have secured their places in the finals.

While in the large category (49 – 60 choristers), where the winners are decided on a points-based league, Eastern Cape Police Choir currently sit in the top position, with 184.67 points.

According to Old Mutual sponsorship manager Bandile Mngoma, “The standard of performances this year is surpassing all our expectations. All the choirs have gone through a demanding audition process to ensure an exceptionally high standard of performances. We congratulate all the winners thus far. The ultimate winners though are the public who are inspired, healed and moved by the music.”

“We trust that the initiative continues to enable positive futures and we look forward to the performances in the rest of the series.”

In the regional round of the championship, the winning choirs in first, second and third place in the large category walk away with R10 000, R9 000 and R8 000 respectively, while standard category winners pocket R8 000, R7 000 and R6 000 for the top three positions.

Finalists will compete at the prestigious National Finals, to be held at Ellis Park Indoor Arena in Johannesburg on 10 and 11 December 2016.

Large Choir League standings as at 10/09/2016:

Choir Name                                                                          Total marks

  1. Easton Cape Police Choir                                              184.66
  2. Sound of the Nation                                                                    178.00
  3. Kopano Chorus                                                                            176.33
  4. North West University Choir                                                        175,67
  5. African Chorus                                                                 175.00
  6. Voices of the Nation                                                                   172.00
  7. The Sounds of Joy Choral Society                                           165.33
  8. Gauteng Choristers                                                                     161.00
  9. Zwelitsha Adult Choir                                                                  161.00
  10. Transnet Port Terminals Choir                                                   159.34