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Celebration of choral music’s Champ of Champs

The Old Mutual National Choir Festival launches its 35th anniversary championships.  Ticket sales for the highly sought after 35th Old Mutual National Choir Festival have opened. The final leg of the choral music competition takes place o­n 8 and 9 December at the Durban International Convention Centre. A number of 25 choirs from around the country and neighbouring countries will compete for the national championship title in three categories, standard, large and Champ of Champs.

The Champ of Champs category is the most exciting and unique feature of the Old Mutual National Choir Festival. This category is open every five years to holders of the championship title in the large category. Participating choirs in this special category this year are SA Singers – two-time holder of the title in the past five years, African Chorus defending Champ of Champs, Gauteng Choristers and Belcanto Voices.

A noteworthy aspect of this year’s final is the partnership between Old Mutual and eThekwini Municipality to co-host this prestigious competition. Old Mutual’s general manager for marketing, Shirley Koaho, says, “Our shared commitment to cultivate talent and preserve our cultural heritage is what brought this partnership to life. We believe co-hosting with the eThekwini Municipality can o­nly help make the competition reach greater heights and allow us to do great things.”

Tickets are available at Computicket and various packages are available.  The R350 per day ticket includes a seat in the VIP area, a meal, secured parking and a gift bag. Other options include floor seating for R120 and gallery area tickets for R100.

The launch kicked off with a conductors’ briefing. Conductors from the 25 participating choirs rehearsed with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra o­n 3 and 4 November. Each conductor will receive a master class o­n conducting an orchestra and a book o­n music notation courtesy of University of South Africa.

“Our aim is to inspire new levels of delivery. Our hope is that the conductors will do great things with the opportunity presented to them so we can present the best competition in the 35 years the project has been running,” Koaho concludes.


Back row: Putco Mafani (programme director), Katlego Maphakela (Free State Choristers), Mohau Mohale (Bagale Chorus), Rev. Obakeng Jackals (Northern Cape Choristers), Mulalo Dagada (Limpopo SAPS), Khetha Mhlongo (Mbabane Methodist Church Choir), Nolufefe Mtshabe (Heavenly Voices), Monty Manamela (Kopano Chorus). Front row: Wiseman Mkhize (Claremont Community Choir), Mzwandile Matthews (Matthews Singers), Thabani Khanyile (Old Mutual National Choir Festival), Shirley Koaho (Old Mutual), Thembinkosi Ngcobo (eThekwini Municipality), George Mohlala (Africa Sings Choral Society).



Back row: Putco Mafani (programme director), Sidwell Mhlongo (Gauteng Choristers), Lindelwa Nqata (Belcanto Voices), Mongi Mzobe (African Chorus), Trust Khuluse (SA Singers). Front row: Thabani Khanyile (Old Mutual National Choir Festival), Shirley Koaho (Old Mutual), Thembinkosi Ngcobo (eThekwini Municipality).