Tuesday, 28th June, Rhema Bible Church, Johannesburg – The Eisteddfod 2016 competition has started, and the first day lived up to expectations. Hosted by Mongezi Boloshe, the event was carried with excitement and optimism.
The ensembles were well coordinated and well-dressed, being guided by energetic conductors throughout their performances. Choirs performed from Special Schools, Farm Schools, SATB Mixed Double Quartets, Boys Choirs and Mixed Choirs.
Among the honoured guests were the Co-founder and Chairperson of the Motsepe Foundation, Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe and Minister Angie Motshekga from the Department of Basic Education.
Celebrating the cultures of the country was a prominent theme, as choirs transitioned from Zulu to English to Afrikaans. Some even dressed in traditional wear and complimented their attire with cultural dances, such as the vibrantly dressed Mamogaleskraal choir from the North West province.
Rhema Church made for an apt setting, drawing out spiritual hymns from the audience. If it were not for the attire and the youth of the choristers that performed, one would find it challenging to decipher between the choirs and the audience, as the crowd put their vocal talent on display, often being joined by the host. Nevertheless, they all seemed to enjoy the young talent they came to witness on the stage.
Futura Choir from Gauteng harmonised their songs and chants with a combination of oral acoustics percussion instruments, such as drums. The angelic chords of the Luvolwethu Choir from Mpumalanga were pleasantly received, while Malebogo Choir from the North West took the stage to the sounds of a ululating audience.
Bloemendal Choir from Western Cape garlanded the stage with lovely bouquets as they joyfully sang to the classical tune of Country Gardens by Ronald Binge, which solicited a rousing applause from the audience.
The Njanji Mixed Choir from Mpumalanga dominated the stage, opening the Mixed Choir category with an upbeat traditional spiritual by Roger Emerson, ‘Elijah Rock’ – the title song for all the mixed choirs. What was also impressive was the choirs’ well-rehearsed recitation of the Preamble of the Constitution, before singing the Plea from Africa. Listening to the Preamble, one could feel the presence of Youth Month in the Auditorium.
All in all, the event started on a high note. The Motsepe Foundation would like to thank the Department of Basic Education for their support and for a successful start to the Eisteddfod 2016 Choral competition. We look forward to seeing more of the country’s talented choirs dominate the stage with their lifting voices.