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UWC choir triumph at national festival

UWC choir triumphs at national festival

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) Creative Arts Choir emerged victorious at the 2013 Old Mutual National Choir Festival (OMNCF) this week when they won no less than three trophies.

The UWC Choir fought off stiff competition from ten other choirs to be crowned the best large choir, and pocketed R50,000. They also won the African piece category, and UWC’s Sbusiso Njeza was named the best conductor.

UWC’s win occurs against the backdrop of a festival and competition that became a dignified and rousing tribute to South Africa’s greatest statesman, Nelson Mandela, whose spirit prevailed over the 36th OMNCF at Durban’s International Convention Centre from 7 to 8 December.

The National Choir Festival, which has been sponsored by Old Mutual since 1988, is an annual national choral music competition conducted at district and regional/provincial levels, culminating in a national final. It goes beyond the borders of South Africa, with choirs from Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland joining South African choirs in what is considered to be the biggest choral music initiative.

Njeza said the competition “was a battle of great professional choirs”, and although the UWC Choir was a first-time contender in the large category, they did well. “It feels really great when one’s efforts are being recognised at that level.”

The win earned the UWC Choir a spot in the Champ of Champs category which takes place every five years and which pits champion choirs against each other.

Old Mutual sponsorship manager, Bandile Mngoma, added: “We congratulate all the winners. The ultimate winners though are the public who are inspired, healed and moved by the music. Nelson Mandela’s words express it poignantly, ‘…it is music and dancing that makes me at peace with the world, and at peace with myself.’”