16 choirs converged at The Rossetenville United Methodist Church for the annual choral music festival held on the 9th of September. Top four choirs from Gauteng, Tshwane, North West and Mpumalanga and one from Limpopo attended the glistering event in their quest for top honours. However it was the neatly dressed choir, Pretoria North / Akasia Choral group that stole the limelight. The Madibeng Times Newspaper caught up with the group UMC choir director Mr Lloyd Murenzvi and he had this to say,
“It really was like a clash of tyrants when 16 choirs converged to showcase their more than four months of preparation. However, the fact that it was a church – organised musical interlude, the competitive spirits were subdued under the “Glorifying the Lord” banner, so that for those that would have “lost” would have still glorified God. The competition was based on two sets of musical pieces:
* Own choice – which had not much restrictions as each choir would chose a song that they thought they would do best on their own. Set piece – which every choir had to perform – a song that was chosen from the United Methodist hymn book and put together by musical experts; It was exasperating and almost unbelievable that all choirs were singing from the same notation as displayed and presented at a coaching clinic when the set piece was introduced to all the choirs. However that can be forgiven as there is a rampant lack of people with relevant expertise in different local churches. As the choirs left the podium after their presentation, we could easily narrow down that the real competition was among about five choirs. The rest had done well in entertaining the audience My choir (Pretoria North / Akasia), which is a section of Tshwane United Methodist Church came first and second consecutively for the Own Choice and set piece, scoring very high marks based on the adjudication criteria, losing to the one that came first by just one point on the set piece. We did put up a sound solid performance, consistent with our past performance. It was not surprising that we had a remarkable achievement, considering the amount of time we had put in the practicing of the
songs. Despite the good performance we had challenges of our own, impending progress:
* Logistical nightmare of getting choristers together. Our people stay in a radius of 60km and assembling all these people to meet at least once a week for practice is very difficult, next to impossible. Not all people are mobile and they depend on those with cars for pick – ups. The ever increasing price of fuel has also created a big financial burden even for those that
are mobile. Hence to have those days for practising comes at a high cost.
* Number of people in the section – section is composed of a few families and for these
members to constitute a proper choir that can compete with others was not easy
* Lack of interest and commitment from other members
* These are some of the challenges we will go with into the next year’s competitions which we need to have devised amicable solutions.”
The group has vowed to come back stronger for next year’s event.