The Choice Children Choir
Music and dance is essential for a child's growth
It is believed that, "Humans are naturally creative, musical and artistic
A baby in the womb lives to the rhythm of its mother’s heartbeat. It hears and feels the sound and emotion of its mother’s voice. When a baby is born, it creates its first sound with its first instrument – the voice. For several weeks, the voice is only used to demand milk, but gradually the baby discovers its own sounds and begins to experiment, play and compose."
I pride myself to know that schools in Zimbabwe are encouraging children to take music.
Wizzy's Lounge was privileged to talk with a music director Bright Gwati who was more than happy to tell us a bit about the choir.
"The Choice Children Choir is a Choir which is made up children from in and around Harare. We have a total of 8 schools, a mixture of Government and Private Schools.
It was a choir started and formed for the sole purpose of identifying some of the vocal talent we have in schools and taking these voices to the international platform of the World Choir Games.
The World Choir Games are a bi-annual event in which Choirs from different parts of the world congregate to sing and compete together. This year, is the 10th Anniversary of the World Choir Games and for the first time ever, they are coming to Africa. They will be held in Tshwane South Africa. For the first time as well, Zimbabwe will be represented at the games.
Children went through an audition process in August last year. Over a hundred children auditioned to join the choir and from that we chose 46 children who were the best singers and showed the most potential. These 46 children for the last 10 months have been working week in, week out to represent their country.
We had a series of performances this year starting at the annual National Institute of Allied Arts Eisteddfod. Performing in some particularly challenging classes with choristers who are much older than them the Choir excelled and showed its worth. Immediately afterwards, the choir packed up, left Harare and took its performance and music to Bulawayo. Passing through Bryden Country School in a morning performance, the choir was welcomed to Bulawayo with smiles and the warmth of the Sibson Hall.
After a moving performance in Bulawayo we returned with spirits high and full of achievement. Going on the international stage however was going to require a lot more than a performance in the Sibson hall, we will be going up against some of the best choirs in the world and so rehearsals continued, refining and polishing each performance.
The name “Choice Children’s Choir” was derived from two things, firstly, each child in the choir auditioned to be part of the choir and was chosen for their particular talent, as well as the fact that each child made a personal choice and commitment to be a part of the choir.
We have a mission to take Zimbabwean Voices to the global stage. Despite all the challenges that Zimbabwe has been through in the last decade, Zimbabwe still has citizens who have hope for their country. It is a country made up of beautiful people and citizens from all sorts of backgrounds which come together to make the Zimbabwean people. We hope to take the Zimbabwean light and spark, and share it with the World"
After the trip to South Africa the Music Director had this to say,
"We were managed to get a silver award, with 19.44 points out of a possible 30. We were 0.56 points away from a gold. The winning country had 22.63 points. We represented the country on a lot of platforms, the Zimbabwean flag shon high at the opening ceremony. We took part in a friendship concert at Kwalata Game lodge which we shared with a German Choir and an American Children’s Choir. We were then invited to perform at the City of Tshwane Mayors Legacy Concert to fundraiser for charity in the Sun Arena. We sang with a 1000 strong mass choir as well as had our own individual performance on the grand stage. We joined choirs from all over Africa for this occasion and managed to showcase Zimbabwean talent to the rest of Africa and the world.
"It was a very humbling experience'"
The Choice Children’s Choir WILL be going to Belgium in 2020 to compete in the games and will be going for Gold."