Preparations for the upcoming Department of Correctional Services (DCS) National Choir Competition are now in full swing, with Gauteng Region kick-starting the build-up by hosting their regional competition at Springs Civic Centre on 30 and 31 March 2023.
The order of performance included solo soprano summer time, mezzo soprano Hamba, tenor, baritone, duet, sextet, mixed double quartet Usizi, western and African pieces.
This year’s competition saw all Gauteng Management Areas except Baviaanspoort battle it out to be the region’s crown jewel. The impeccable talent on show left the spectators spellbound and sent out a clear message of intent that Gauteng will not relinquish its national crown without a fight. The event gave an opportunity to upcoming choirs to network, learn and stay abreast of developments in the world of choral music. Attendees and choir members had an opportunity to meet and interact with external choir conductors and guests from the Department of Sports, Recreational, Arts and Culture (DSAC) and our renowned international Bass Baritone Opera singer, Otto Maidi from Baviaanspoort Management Area who mesmerized the audience with few of his songs.
Regional Commissioner (RC), Adv. Moeketsi Mashibini used the opportunity to address officials on the importance of employee wellness. “DCS has always supported and encouraged officials to partake in extra mural activities in order to have a healthy lifestyle and cordial working relationships amongst one another. We take pride in that against all odds, you have been there for the department through the rendering of songs of comfort and jubilation during memorial and funeral services, and all other official events of the department,” said Adv. Mashibini.
One of the adjudicators, Qolani Masangu from Tshwane University Technology (TUT), Soshanguve campus, stated that it is important for choirs to do research about songs and their respective composers so that they can have a better understanding of music and how they are supposed to perform. “As soloist or in ensemble you must ensure that from the onset, you practice with a piano keyboard so that you can be more familiar with the songs,” said Masangu. He further mentioned that it is important for conductors to understand the sound of the choir as it will assist them not to over sing and also to know the tone of their choir.
Following a hard-fought battle, Kgoši Mampuru II Management Area emerged as the overall winners with Modderbee scooping second position. RC Mashibini congratulated all the choirs for their participation. Throwing down the gauntlet, RC Mashibini said: “As Gauteng Region, we are the proud champions of choral music in the department, therefore we must make sure that we defend our trophy in the upcoming National Choral competition later this year”.
Kgoši Mampuru II choir conductor, Mr Zwelithini Molopyane expressed his excitement about clinching top position, and the challenge that lies ahead for them to defend their national crown. “It feels wonderful to be the overall winners after many sleepless nights of hard work, striving to mould a group of 40 choristers to become a team, to think alike and to maintain a high level of concentration throughout,” said Molopyane. He further asserted that as the raining national champions, they still have lot of work ahead of them if they are to realise their ambition to defend their title, they will have to do through planning and more rehearsal prior to the national competition.
Assupol sponsored the competition with trophies while (DSAC) brought in experienced adjudicators from different spheres of choral music.