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Wits choir festival to start on 1 September

JOBURG - The inaugural Wits Choir Youth and Community Choir Festival will be hosted on September 1 at the university's prestigious Great Hall.

Participating choirs will include the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls’ Choir, University of Johannesburg Metropolitan Academy Choir and Nkosi’s Haven Choir, among others.

In the run-up to the concert, the Wits Choir conducted a series of engaging choral workshops with the choirs to teach basics of good singing technique, the significance of movement in communicating the stories told through music, as well as practising two traditional South African songs that will be performed as massed choir pieces at the gala concert by about 450 choristers, ranging in age from six to 60 years old.

Wits Choir conductor Dalene Hoogenhout said, “Some people think that our South African traditional songs are simplistic and thus require less rehearsal time and less attention to detail than other genres of choral music. We want to show that this is not necessarily the case, that South African traditional music is not only fun to sing, but that it can be as complex, in its own right, as other choral pieces. Through the Youth and Community Choir Festival, one of the aims of Wits Choir is to instil respect and appreciation for our choral heritage.”

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