WITH THE 2018 World Choir Games around the corner, more than 60 countries made up of 300 choirs and 16 000 participants have already booked their places for the upcoming World Choir Games (WCG) set to take place in Tshwane from 04 – 14 July 2018.
The World Choir Games competition is likened to the Olympic Games of choral music and will be held on African soil for the first time ever. Its previous hosts include Austria, Korea, Germany, China, USA, Latvia and Russia, organized by German-based organization INTERKULTUR, whose sole purpose, is to bring people from diverse nations and cultures together through peaceful competitions. According to Mr Ali Mpofu, the Member of the Local Organising Committee, and CEO of the African Cultural Development Foundation, entries have been received from eight African states (including SA), and from 36 countries, including as far afield as the US, Jamaica, Switzerland, Lithuania, Greece, China and Singapore.
Described as the world’s largest international choir competition, the World Choir Games 2018 will be the battleground for the finest choral music talent from around the world.
Mr Mpofu, says the strong international interest in the World Choir Games bodes well for the event, South Africa as a host country and is further testimony to the universal appeal of choral music.
“To be honest, we are not surprised that so many countries have responded so positively to the invitation to participate in this event. This is yet another display of the power and popularity of choral music across the world. We are thrilled about how things are shaping up and are looking forward to hosting the event on behalf of South Africa. We truly believe that those who will be part of it are in for a great time. It will definitely be an occasion to remember for many years to come,” he says.
Mr Mpofu adds that the competition will showcase to the world South Africa’s talents in choral music.
The World Choir Games invites all non-professional choirs globally to participate. The competition offers a platform for competitive choirs as well as choirs with relatively little international experience to compete.
“It will be a wonderful platform for both those who are established and those who are up and coming. It really is a special and exciting time in the history of choral music in Africa and South Africa," says Mpofu.
Choral music is arguably the greatest ‘common denominator’ among South African communities, as it is widely loved and also enjoys broad support and participation. It is a unifying activity, bringing together choristers from across the country’s socio-economic landscape, regardless of age, gender, education, religion, sexual orientation or social standing.
The event will also offer free Friendship Concerts and open rehearsal sessions. During these sessions, choirs, conductors and individuals will be introduced to international choral literature, singing styles and performance practices.