Mpumalanga has hosted the first of a series of provincial massed choir festivals to celebrate two decades of Sowetan's nation-building philosophy and work.
It also marked the 20th anniversary of the newspaper's corporate social investment and responsibility programme, Sowetan Nation Building. The festival featured 11 choirs, four soloists and a multiracial orchestra, and honoured Mpumalanga's choral music icon Moroa Peter Tlou at the weekend.
Soprano Nombuso Ndlandla, mezzo soprano Nolubabalo Mdayi, tenor Given Nkosi and bass singer Johannes Ntuli were backed by African Serenade Choral Project, Kanyamazane Adult Choir, Phumula Chorale, Witbank Adult Choir, Wesselton Choristers, Ikhethelo High School Choristers, Ndlela High School Singers, Amadlelo High School Choir, ELCSAMO Lutheran Church Choir and Mhluzi Adult Choir.
They sang Handel's Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, Schubert's Sanctusand Benedictus, Theriso Tsambo's Antuntulele, Mendelssohn's Hear Ye Israel, Koapeng's Khutsho, Joshua Mohapeloa's Chabana Sa Khomo, U Ea Kae? and Bonyeli, Magangane's arrangement of Lithemba and Emajikeni and Mozart's Donne Mie, La Fate A Tantia.
This provincial concept - flowing from Transnet Foundation-, SABC- and Sowetan-sponsored showcases - is being taken outside Gauteng for the first time thanks to funding provided to the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.
The second showcase takes place in Northern Cape on October 5.
Music directors are Ludumo Magangane and Mokale Koapeng, who is also the project's manager. They were assisted by Piet Retief choir coordinator Letlhogonolo Moalusi, Witbank choir coordinator George Mohlala, Ermelo choir coordinator Zweli Mdakane and Mpumalanga's project coordinator Siphiwe Mbentse.