Local news

Highway schools shine in choir competition

Westville Junior Primary School came in second place, winning R15 000, and St Mary's DSG clinching third place and taking home R10 000.

HIGHWAY’S Westville Junior Primary School and St Mary’s DSG came in the top three schools battled it out showcasing their diverse musical talents in the Park Square ‘Clash of the Choirs’ competition which was held in Umhlanga.

Now in its second year, this vibrant celebration of cultural harmony through music gave junior and senior primary school learners a chance to not only perform in front of a large audience, but the chance to win money for their school’s music departments.

Also read: WATCH: International composer and producer puts Shongweni choir on the map

Growing from five schools last year, Park Square was graced with 11 choirs at this year’s event, each bringing their unique flair and style to the stage, creating a dynamic atmosphere of excitement and creativity, and delivering powerful and moving performances.

According to centre manager, Lauren Randall, music and choirs play a vital role in communities, and they want to amplify the voices of under-resourced music departments and foster growth.

“This event is not only a showcase of musical talent but also a testament to the power of unity and collaboration. It serves as a reminder of the transformative impact of music in fostering understanding, empathy, and community spirit. The talent on display was truly remarkable.”

Judges for the competition included Tory Du Plessis, who has for more than 15 years directed top school choirs and is the owner of Cherry Blossom Music. There was also Shylo Pereira, who has excelled in local competitions and joined prestigious choirs and orchestras, performed internationally alongside stars like Norah Jones and Simple Minds and is the current director of Project Performer.

Singer songwriter, and front man for the band The Black Lapels also joined the panel of judges this year.

Claiming the top spot was Virginia Preparatory, securing a prize of R25 000, followed by Westville Junior Primary School coming in second place, winning R15 000, and St Mary’s DSG clinching third place and taking home R10 000.

All participating schools who did not place received R2 500, earmarked for the enhancement of their music department.

Randall added that the success of this year’s ‘Clash of the Choirs’ underscores not only the talent of the participants but also the enduring importance of music in fostering community spirit and cultural understanding.

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