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Kopano Chorus victorious at the 2017 Old Mutual National Choir Festival

After beating off fierce competition from 10 other choirs at the Ellis Park Indoor Arena in Johannesburg, it was Gauteng’s Kopano Chorus that was crowned the best large choir in Southern Africa and walked away with R100 000 in prize money this weekend. In the standard category, Prince Mshiyeni Choir from Kwazulu Natal, came out tops and took home R 74 000.

The choir going all out

The festival, which celebrated a 40 year milestone this year, is currently the biggest choral music competition in Southern Africa and prides itself on its rich heritage of cultivating talent and enabling positive futures. This musical showdown extends beyond borders, with choirs from Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and South Africa going head to head in this one-of-a-kind competition.

The passion and gusto of choral music was palpable and music lovers were left in awe as choristers set the bar higher than ever before.

“It is safe to say that everyone who was present in the arena this weekend definitely got their money’s worth, as the level of performances was sterling. While the music was very challenging, choirs staged the exceptional,” said the competition’s head adjudicator, Thami Zungu.

Second place in the large category went to HM Correctional Services Choir from Swaziland who walked away with R90 000, while Zwelitsha Adult Choir from the Eastern Cape, clinched third place position and R80 000. In the Standard Category, Second place went to Western Classical Voices from the Western Cape, who received a cheque of R64 000 with Chitungwiza Harmony Singers from Zimbabwe, in third receiving R54 000.

The sound of Joy

Old Mutual Chief Marketing Officer, Vuyo Lee congratulated all the winners, adding: “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 an even bigger and better festival in 2018,” concluded Lee.

The momentous clash of five of the previous years’ winners saw the prestigious Champ of Champs title being awarded to SA Singers, who take home R200 000 for their sterling performances.

 Complete 2017 Old Mutual National Choir Festival Results

Large Category

1st place – Kopano Chorus
2nd place – HM Correctional Services Choir
3rd place – Zwelitsha Adult Choir
Best African piece – Kopano Chorus
Best Western piece – Kopano Chorus

Standard Category

1st place – Prince Mshiyeni Choir
2nd place – Western Classical Voices
3rd place – Chitungwiza Harmony Singers
Best African piece – Prince Mshiyeni Choir
Best Western piece – Prince Mshiyeni Choir

Champ of Champs

1st place – SA Singers

2nd place – Sound of the Nation

3rd place – Voices of the Nation

Best African piece – SA Singers

Best Western piece – Sound of the Nation

Photographer : Marianne Schwankhart

About the author

Riaan Beeslaar

Adriaan Gerhardus Beeslaar. Young South African male currently the owner and writer for Blue Monkey Magazine and also a writer for Anytime Anywhere Magazine. Adriaan, nickname Riaan is also the author of the young adult fiction book Firefly.
Born 1992 Riaan Beeslaar only discovered his love and passion for writing at age 23 in 2015 when he started working on his young adult fiction novel titled Firefly. Currently, a freelance journalist residing in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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