Festival to hypnotise audience

Victor Mecoamere

Choral music lovers are in a for a treat during the 2008 Transnet Foundation, SABC and Sowetan Massed Choir Festival.

It takes place at the Standard Bank Arena in Doornfontein, Johannesburg, on November 9 from 2pm.

Lesedi FM have just become a member of this fine nation-building partnership. They will record the show for later broadcasts on their popular choral music slots. SABC2 will do the same.

Entertainers on the day are the 18-member Danish Papaya, famous for their fine interpretation and performance of a rich South African choral and traditional music, who will share the stage with the almost peerless and inimitable Benjamin Dube, mezzo soprano Nonhlanhla Yende, bass Timothy Matlala, soprano Pretty Yende and tenor Monwabisi Lindi, Mvezo Community Choir from Eastern Cape, Manzini Symphony Chorus from Swaziland, Chitungwiza Harmony Singers from Zimbabwe, and the local choirs, namely:

l Bonisudumo Choristers;

l East Rand Chorale;

l Kathorus Choristers;

l Mogale City Chorale;

l Soweto Songsters;

l Vaal Choristers;

l African Sweet Melodies;

l Gauteng SAPS Choir;

l Mangaung SAPS Choir from Free State;

l Gauteng Choristers;

l SABC Choir;

l Amazwi KaNtu Choir

l Garankuwa Community Choir;

l Mamelodi Philharmonic Chorus;

l And, Shalom Chorale.

In 2001, Papaya toured South Africa after their inaugural appearance at the festival.

They will visit Durban and Johannesburg from November 1-10, promoting the South African release of their latest work, Reflections.

A choral music composition by a young musician will be among the highlights of the festival.

In April, the South African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) Endowment for the National Arts and Massed Choir Festival's organisers - Transnet Foundation, SABC and Sowetan - called on emerging choral music composers to enter their work for a commemorative choral composition competition.

Pioneering festival leaders Richard Cock and Mzilikazi Khumalo have been replaced by young, versatile choral musicians Ludumo Magangane, Thabiso Mosabala, Mokale Koapeng, Danny Pooe and Thulasizwe Nkabinde.

Magangane and Pooe, with Koapeng, Mosabala and Nkabinde, will conduct the choirs.

Tickets are on sale at Computicket.