The regional championships of the yearly edition of the Old Mutual National Choir Festival have begun the build-up to the national finals in December.
District eliminations took place across South Africa and in Swaziland between March and May.
Choirs that have qualified in these district heats feature in the regional deciders from August to October.
All regional champions are due to compete in the finals scheduled for Johannesburg on December 6 and 7.
Mpumalanga hosted the first of 10 regional finals in Witbank last Sunday. The second heat was held at the Ezulwini Convention Centre in Swaziland yesterday.
The next eight heats are due to be held in:
lPort Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, on August 16;
lPietermaritzburg, KwaZuluNatal, on August 24;
lKimberley, Northern Cape, on August 31;
lCape Town, Western Cape, on September 7;
lVereeniging, Gauteng, on September 14;
lPolokwane, Limpopo. on September 21;
lBloemfontein, Free State, on September 28; and
lRustenburg, North West, on October 5.
This year the festival celebrates 31 years of promoting choral music. Old Mutual has been backing the showcase for the past 21 years.
Over the past three decades the prestigious competitive choral music showcase has helped develop South Africa's musical talent.
It has encouraged and promoted choral music excellence, while providing great enjoyment to choristers and spectators.
Attracting choirs from all over South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe, the festival has become an almost peerless cultural heritage event.
lOld Mutual, Sowetan, the SABC and the national and provincial social services departments are the organisers of the 18th Community Builder of the Year Awards, which recognises, acknowledges and rewards unsung community development champions among us.