According to metro spokesperson Themba Gadebe, a grand prize of R500 000 is at stake, and choral music-lovers should expect a well-polished musical offering.
“The choral music will be accompanied by an addition of other genres of entertainment by some of Mzansi’s top music artists and an addition of choirs from around the continent as well,” says Gadebe.
Gadebe says the list of entertainers includes Sibongile Khumalo, Solly Mahlangu, Jaziel Brothers, Afro Tenors, Njabulo Madlala and Igrandi Tenori. Dance floor king Zakes Bantwini and laugh till you drop Queen Celeste Ntuli, the East Rand Male Symphony Choir Ekurhuleni, Mbizana Village EC and Fumana High School choirs.
“The Serumula Performing Arts Academy of Lesotho, His Majesty Correctional Services of Swaziland and Maseno University Choir of Kenya will also be representing the African continent at the finals,” adds Gadebe.
“This gathering of the crème de la crème of choral music is in honour of one of South Africa’s greatest sons Oliver Reginald Tambo, who was a former school choir conductor at St Peters School. He was first introduced to formal music at Embhobeni, and it became a lifelong activity and hobby.
The Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation endorses this festival.
“Oliver Tambo loved classical and choral music and was an accomplished choir master,” says Mavuso Msimang, CEO of the foundation.
Msimang says Tambo recognised the critical role of culture in the struggle for liberation and encouraged the formation of cultural groups in exile camps, where freedom-fighters lived.
“Embracing the Melting Pot National Festival Tribute to OR Tambo was, thus, the most natural thing to do for the foundation. There will be some unbelievable musical renditions, vocal and instrumental, by persons with disabilities. It’s an experience you have to see to fully appreciate.”
The top competing choirs are: Bagale Chorus (North-West), Zwelitsha Adult Choir (Eastern Cape), Heavenly Voices (Western Cape), Gauteng Choristers (Gauteng) Belcanto Voices (Free State), SA Singers ( Kwa-Zulu Natal) Transnet Port Terminals (Eastern Cape), Kopano Chorus (Gauteng), African Chorus (Kwa-Zulu Natal) and Thabong Serenade (Free State). – @TumeloBoksburg