Choirs awarded for excellence

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Vasco Chaya


CHITUNGWIZA Harmony Singers continued their dominance in regional choir competitions as they won the grand prize in the inaugural Festival of Song Awards held in the capital recently.

The prize came along with a recording contract courtesy of Jacaranda Culture and Media Company (JCMC).

Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) were the first runners-up and were also awarded a recording contract by Monolio Studios.

Heavenly Praises Chorus were the Festival of Song first round Best Performance while Chitungwiza Harmony Singers were awarded for being the Most Popular Choir in 2020.

“The event was an opportunity for record labels and choir directors to familiarize.

“The Festival of Song is a national choral music competition whose mandate is to unite communities through music by providing an annual stage for performance to institutions, church and community choirs,” reads part of the statement from the organisers.

The festival was launched online with the aim of honouring choral music groups during the Covid-19 national lockdown.

“However, most choirs were not well versed with the online competition hence were reluctant to participate.

“The technological gap brought by choirs in urban, peri-urban and rural choirs meant the programme mainly benefited the urban and peri-urban leaving out the majority of choirs in rural areas.

“This calls for intervention from more sponsors to come on board so that this can be more inclusive,” reads the statement.

Due to the effects of Covid-19, most of the 2020 events were held digitally in line with the regulations of the pandemic.

Some of the festivals held online include Shoko, Let Them and Castle Braai Festival.

Formed in 1993 in Chitungwiza by the late Israel Dzangare, the Chitungwiza Harmony Singers are a big name when it comes to choral music in the country and even beyond national borders.

Over the years, Chitungwiza Harmony Singers, whose membership fluctuates at 60 people, has relied on sponsorship from the Netherlands Embassy, Rob Spencer (initial funder), The Cheese Man, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Sugar Refinery, Old Mutual Zimbabwe, Dairibord Zimbabwe, Tallantyne Printers and Tanganda among others.

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