Cape Town - Africans are well known for celebrating their cultures, traditions and everyday life with their voices raised in song - something that has been shared by community, school and church choirs for generations. Nothing celebrates this joy in song more than the Old Mutual National Choir Festival (NCF), which has brought the best of choral music to the continent for 42 years.
This year this African choral event, which began as a community project, has attracted 106 choirs who have taken part since the launch over the weekend of the 14 July in Gauteng. Performances will also take place in Johannesburg, Polokwane, Eswatini and Zimbabwe, with the festival coming to the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town on September 1.
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The prescribed music the choirs can elect to sing comes from the 41 years of music that NCF has in its repertoire, songs that are either accompanied or unaccompanied. A factor that should make for exciting and diverse performances for the audiences who attend these inspiring events. A single song can only be chosen a maximum of 4 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 or styles and tastes for all of the performances.
Another unique factor is that Old Mutual has been the sponsors of the event since 1988. This undoubtedly places the NCF and its dedicated sponsor in the ‘sponsorship record book. It is 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 NFC in 1977.