Thirteen years into the new dispensation and we still find negative elements that work against and actually destabilise efforts of bringing choral musicians together.
It is that period of the year when we have a lot of choral music events. A few weeks ago we had the Massed Choir Festival, then two National Choral Music Championships.
A week ago there were two beautiful presentations of Karl Jenkins the Armed Man: A Mass for Peace at the Johannesburg city hall. Even though there are still racial divides in attendance, the different events attracted full houses. It is time organisers of these events targeted the broader South African society.
The International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM), an international choral music body, invites all choral music structures around the world to celebrate the International Day of Choral Singing (IDCS) on December 9.
The IDCS has been celebrated every second Sunday in December since 1991. Through choral singing we can extol the value of peace and understanding, because choral music is universal. If the DAC had already put that framework for development of South African choral sector in place, or the Choral Institute of South Africa (Chorisa) was operational, the whole country would be singing for peace with the rest of the world on that day.
Choir leaders are having a challenge in helping either the DAC or Chorisa organise a conference or congress for choral musicians. Most of them have day jobs and are too busy to also put time aside to organise an event of this magnitude.
It would be for the good of the country's choral music community if the DAC and Chorisa outsourced the services of experienced events managers to set up a conference.
Choir leaders could then be invited to that conference to deliberate and set up policies and structures of governance. We musicians are unfortunately very vocal and eloquent, have the tendency of showing off our knowledge by wasting time engaging in rhetoric, intimidating and tend to shut any opposition down.
The DAC and Chorisa have good initiatives that must not be distracted and lose focus by these negative elements.
The choral music society needs these structures for the unification of choral music in our nation.
The existing choral music structures, including the National Choir Festival (NFC), SA Choral Music Association (Sacma), SA Choral Music Society (SACMS), the ATKV-Applous, are working well for those that participate in them. All these structures have not yet put enough effort to unify the country's people. The IDCS is an ideal occasion for them to unite the South African choral society. - firstname.lastname@example.org