Botswana will host the Old Mutual National Choir festival on the 10th September 2016 at the Boipuso Hall. The choral festival will attract 11 choirs from South Africa and Botswana. The festival has been held in South Africa over the past several years but this time around Botswana was selected to host the event for the first time ever to coincide with the country’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.
The Old Mutual National Choir Festival is an international event formed to promote choral music in Southern Africa. It comprises of ten regions, with nine regions from South Africa and Botswana being in the North West region, and an independent region, Swaziland. Event Coordinator of EG Entertainment, Modiba Killer promised a memorable night of the crème de la crème of choral music. “We definitely look forward to celebrating 50 years in style, in the choral fraternity,” he said.
Co-organiser Oarabile Bafitlhile described choral music as a musical art form that is accessorised with a stylish, formal look, with men dressed in smart suits and women in elegant dresses, to match the sophistication and class of the music genre. He said the audience should expect the usual elegant performances incorporated with motivational and informative messages.
The competing choirs include KTM Choir, Gaborone Youth Singers, Andante Chorus, Maikano Serenaders, BTU Choristers and Gaborone Philharmornic Voices from Botswana and Platinum Voices, Matlosane Melodies, Lesetlheng URC Choir and Mompati Arts Choirs from South Africa, which will all participate in the Standard Category Section, while the only North West University Choir will represent Large Section from Mafikeng Campus.
Prescribed songs for the competition include African Prescription by HK Pule in recognition of two songs: Selelo Sa Sechaba and Mokgosi Ga Se Molaletsa. Songs under the Western Prescribed music include Ronde, which is in French, Chantedella Fete, which is also in French and Agnusdei (Lamb of God) in Latin. These art pieces will be played alongside Piano accompaniment.
Imflamatus will be performed for the large section while the Indigenous Section will grace the event with traditional cultural music and dance, demonstrated by strictly local choirs. Bafitlhile said Botswana first made its maiden appearance at these competitions in 2001 in South Africa, and it was exciting development that it is the host country this time around.
He said they are also confident that this year will mark a successful one for them in the regional eliminations. “We have never been to the finals but this time around we are confident that at least one Botswana choir will qualify for the finals because we are well prepared and have home advantage,” he said. Limited tickets to the festival are available at Shoprite stores for P100 each.