Africans are well known for celebrating their cultures, traditions and everyday life with their voices raised in song – something that has been shared by community, school and church choirs for generations. Nothing celebrates this joy in song more than the Old Mutual National Choir Festival (NCF), which has brought the best of choral music to the continent for 42 consecutive years.
What is unique is that Old Mutual has been the sponsors of the event since 1988. This undoubtedly places the NCF and its dedicated sponsor in the ‘sponsorship record book’. It is something that the late Professor Khabi Mngoma, the renowned music teacher, and founder of the event would never have dreamed of when he launched the NFC in 1977.
This year this African choral event, which began as a community project, has attracted 106 choirs who have taken part since the launch over the weekend of the 14th July in Gauteng. Performances will take place in Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Polokwane, Ethekwini, Cape Town and Johannesburg from 4th August through to the 8th December 2019.
The prescribed music the choirs can elect to sing comes from the 41 years of music that NCF has in its repertoire, songs that are either accompanied or unaccompanied. A factor that should make for exciting and diverse performances for the audiences who attend these inspiring events. A single song can only be chosen a maximum of 4 times by the choirs and will work on a first come first served basis both nationally and provincially; therefore creating a far broader range of exciting eras or styles and tastes for all of the performances.
“The Old Mutual National Choir Festival about partnerships that transcend the normal; events that showcase our people and their talents. The extended partnership between Old Mutual and the NCF is based on providing a stage that builds confidence, opens opportunities and offers people new personal heights to scale. Our sponsorship is about ‘enabling of positive futures’”.
Enabling people to give of their best, display their love of music and share it In addition, it promotes the development of music, music literacy, and a chance for people for passionate and committed participants to thrill receptive audiences”, says Thobile Tshabalala, Head of Brand at Old Mutual.
“We are proud to be contributing so positively towards the music industry in Africa,” says Tshabalala.
“Our sponsorship approach is motivated by the belief that we need to be active and relevant in the spaces that mean a lot to people. There is no better way to achieving this than through the universal language of music. With our recently launched AMPD Studios, our sponsorship of the Music in the Gardens concert Series, and our soon to be announced association with Idols SA, we know we are on the right path.”
“We aim to be an integral and important part of the exciting and diverse musical fibre of Africa. It is an environment where we can share our knowledge and wisdom through a platform that touches people’s lives, their dreams and future goals. Nothing embodies this more than the incredible energy that each choir member brings to every NCF performance. Add the meticulous mastery of the conductors, audiences that cheer the choirs to victory, and it is obvious that now is the time to hit the high notes.”
For all the latest updates and choir information, follow the Old Mutual National Choir Festival Facebook page.