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By CHENGETO CHIDI

Several choral groups have earned themselves opportunities to interact with record labels and producers after excelling in a national choral music competition held virtually.

The Festival Of Song (FOS) awards giving ceremony and press conference was held at the Jacaranda Culture and Media Company.

It’s focus is to unite communities through music by providing an annual stage for performance to institutions, church and community choirs.

FOS also uses the same platform as a means of conveying a message to the general public as the Festival is national.

The event which was an opportunity for record labels and choir directors to familiarize was attended by various groups.

Festival director Joseph Ndlovu said some choral groups were disadvantaged as they were skeptical in participating in the virtual music competition which saw some of them failing to take part

“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 program mainly benefited the urban and peri urban leaving out the majority of choirs in rural areas,” Ndlovu said.

Due to COVID-19 the Mushawakanaka -Arts Department ran the Festival online embracing the “new normal.”

Ndlovu expressed hope for future intervention that invites more sponsors to come up with all-inclusive efforts

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

The organisers of FOS including Mushawakanaka Executive: (Tafadzwa Mukorovi, Kelvin Mutambara, Wendy Muzite) and volunteers. Partners: JCMC, Monolio Studios, Zimbabwe College of Music and Coolsplash officially presented awards to the choirs of the 1st edition of the festival.

Chitungwiza Harmony Singers received an award as the FOS 2020 Most Popular Choir and 1st prize and receiving a record deal with JCMC.

Harare Institute of Technology received the 2nd prize and receiving a record deal with Monolio Studios and Heavenly Praises Chorus received an award as the FOS 2020 1st Round Best Performance.

Zimbabwean music producer-cum-composer, Clive ‘Mono’ Mukundu expressed joy for being part of the initiative of familiarisation with choral groups with local record labels and shared his insights on what lies in store for the winners

“I felt honoured to be part of the Festival of song award ceremony held at JCMC (Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation in Belgravia. As part of the package Monolio Studios will record an EP for Harare Institute of Technology, who are one of the winning Groups,” he said.

“I respect choral singers a lot. Most of them just do it for the love of music. The majority of them do not make a living out of this, they just do it for the love of music. That makes their music pure and true, “he said.

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