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Pretty Yende to join National Choir Festival finalists on stage


Choral music lovers are in for a heavenly experience at the Old Mutual National Choir Festival finals taking place on 10 and 11 December 2016 at the Ellis Park Indoor Arena. Performing at the festival, among others, is international opera sensation, Pretty Yende, and 22 talented choirs from five countries: South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

The guest presenter for the indigenous section on Sunday, 11 December, is none other than the energetic and flamboyant choreographer, actor, radio personality and SA Idols judge, Somizi Mhlongo, known for his trademark “Woooo Shame!”

Setting the scene will be three very dynamic masters of ceremony. First up is the very entertaining and popular radio personality Putco Mafani – known by his adoring radio listeners as Bhutiza – who will leave the audience in stitches. Mafani will be followed by Mongezi Boloshe, one of the leading officials in the choral fraternity, and vibrant radio personality and ardent choral fan Bulelani Koyo.

Pretty Yende’s sheer musical genius will be followed by Nombuso Ndlandla, whose impressive solo performances include Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Britten’s Noah’s Flood, Purcell’s King Arthur and Dido and Aeneas.  Adding to the onstage dazzle will be the Amici group, consisting of final year music students of the North-West University Potchefstroom campus, whose repertoire includes different genres of music including African, classical, light and popular music.

Old Mutual Sponsorship Manager Bandile Mngoma says the Old Mutual National Choir Festival is one of the company’s best-loved sponsorships. “We’ve sponsored this beautiful festival for 29 of its 39 years, and we’re very proud that it still rings true to its original purpose: changing lives through choral music. As a responsible company we are committed to the communities we serve, and we believe that music is a great way of building relationships with individuals, families, and communities.”

Battling it out for the winning titles will be the top 10 choirs and defending champions in the large category and the 10 regional champions and defending champions in the standard category. The winning choirs in the large category will take home R100 000, R90 000 and R80 000 for first, second and third place respectively, while the top three winning choirs in the standard category will walk away with R74 000, R64 000 and R54 000. Each of the 20 competing choirs has already been awarded an average of R20 000 during the elimination stages, with the National Lottery having contributed an additional R10 000 to each of these prizes.

On Saturday, 10 December, the standard category will perform Western prescribed music in this order:

Prince Mshiyeni Choir (KwaZulu-Natal), Diamond City Chorus (Northern Cape), Simon Estes Alumni (Western Cape), Royal Swazi Spa Choir (Swaziland), African Sweet Melodies (Gauteng), Chitungwiza Harmony Singers (Zimbabwe), Gaborone Youth Singers (North West), Belcanto Singers (Eastern Cape), Joyful Harmonies (Western Cape), CUT Choir (Free State), UL Choristers (Limpopo).

The large category choirs will deliver their Western prescribed music as follows:

African Chorus (KwaZulu-Natal), Sound of the Nation (Gauteng), NWU Serenaders (North West), Eastern Cape Police Choir (Eastern Cape), North West University Choir (North West), Kopano Chorus (Gauteng), His Majesty Correctional Services Choir (Swaziland), Western Chorale (Western Cape), SA Singers (KwaZulu-Natal), Voices of the Nation (Gauteng).

On Sunday, 11 December, the standard category will perform the African prescribed music in this order:

UL Choristers (Limpopo), CUT Choir (Free State), Belcanto Singers (Eastern Cape), Royal Swazi Spa Choir (Swaziland), Prince Mshiyeni Choir (KwaZulu-Natal), Chitungwiza Harmony Singers (Zimbabwe), Gaborone Youth Singers (North West), African Sweet Melodies (Gauteng), Diamond City Chorus (Northern Cape), Simon Estes Alumni (Western Cape) and Joyful Harmonies (Western Cape).

The large category will perform their African prescribed music in this order:

Kopano Chorus (Gauteng), African Chorus (KwaZulu-Natal), Voices of the Nation (Gauteng), SA Singers (KwaZulu-Natal), UWC Creative Arts Choir (Western Cape), Sound of the Nation (Gauteng),  Western Chorale (Western Cape), His Majesty Correctional Services Choir (Swaziland), Eastern Cape Police Choir (Eastern Cape), NWU Serenaders (North West) and North West University Choir (North West).

“Please join us for what promises to be the most thrilling and diverse final event yet!” says Mngoma. “We’re looking forward to the incredible talent and energy that each choir member brings to every performance, as well as the conductors’ brilliant and meticulous execution, and the exuberance of the audience cheering the choirs to victory.”

Tickets are available at Computicket for R120.

For more information see: http://dogreatthings.co.za/music/national-choir-festival/