The Old Mutual National Choir Festival has brought the best of choral music to the continent for 42 consecutive years. What’s remarkable is that Old Mutual has been the sponsors of the event since 1988 – something that the late Professor Khabi Mngoma, the renowned music teacher, and founder of the event would never have dreamed of when he launched the benchmark festival in 1977.
This year the choral event has attracted 106 choirs who have taken part since the July launch in Gauteng. Performances in Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Polokwane, Ethekwini, Cape Town and Johannesburg started on 4 August and will continue to 8 December 2019.
The prescribed music the choirs can elect to sing comes from the 41 years of music that the Festival has in its repertoire, songs that are either accompanied or unaccompanied. A single song can only be chosen a maximum of four times by the choirs and will work on a first come first served basis both nationally and provincially, therefore creating a far broader range of exciting eras and styles.
“The Old Mutual National Choir Festival is about partnerships that transcend the normal; events that showcase our people and their talents,” says Thobile Tshabalala, Head of Brand at Old Mutual. “The extended partnership between Old Mutual and the National Choir Festival is based on providing a stage that builds confidence, opens opportunities and offers people new personal heights to scale… Our sponsorship approach is motivated by the belief that we need to be active and relevant in the spaces that mean a lot to people.
“We aim to be an integral and important part of the exciting and diverse musical fibre of Africa. It is an environment where we can share our knowledge and wisdom through a platform that touches people’s lives, their dreams and future goals. Nothing embodies this more than the incredible energy that each choir member brings to every National Choir Festival performance. Add the meticulous mastery of the conductors, audiences that cheer the choirs to victory, and it is obvious that now is the time to hit the high notes.”
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