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CELEBRATING the talents of South Africa's best choirs is a crucial part of nation building, while also inspiring and nurturing future stars.
This is why the revamped Sowetan and Transnet Foundation Massed Choir Festival is due to host several top choirs in a Festival of Champions format.
It is aimed at making the event an expression of excellence.
Falling under the auspices of the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation, it is part of the corporate social investment and responsibility activities, projects and programmes of the Transnet Foundation.
Top achieving choirs are selected from diverse communities and young soloists are propelled towards success.
The festival continues to unite South Africans of all races and is a symbol of brotherhood, goodwill and musical excellence.
In Johannesburg in October, the festival will honour an icon and legend of South African and African choral music for having shown artistic excellence and made an immense contribution to our cultural heritage.
Last year we celebrated the Joshua Polumo Mohapeloa centenary with mass choir renditions of two of his timeless pieces - Bonyeli and Linoto.
The spotlight this year is on Mosoeu Michael Moerane, an extraordinary composer, arranger, conductor and orchestrator.
He would have turned 100 years this year. He was the first black South African to gain a Bachelor of Music degree from Unisa in 1941.
An enduring illustration of the festival's nurturing influence is soprano Pretty Yende.
She made history by becoming the first performer to win first prize in the opera and operetta sections, the Audience Prize and the Prize of International Media at the Hans Gabor Belvedere International Singing Competition in Austria.