Bet El Youth Choir is Old Mutual’s first ever Gospel Choir Festival with the Omaruru Parish Choristers runners-up and the Sion Mass Choir in the third place.
They took home N$50 000; N$20,000 and N$10,000 respectively on Saturday during the grand finale at the fully-packed Hosianna Parish Church in Katutura. Bet El conductor, Leon Beukes was awarded best choir conductor. Supporters of the various choir added to the excitement of the event with their spirited support to their respective choirs. Although on the evening the Alfa Choir seemed the audience’s favourite, telling from its enthusiastic jeering on by the audience, the Bet El Youth Choir scooped the championship.
Each choir performed two songs, the prescribed song and an own selected song. It was an astonishing competition where all choir went out of their way to present amazing performances. Jessica Nanuses says the Omaruru Parish Choristers Choir gave the best performance by managing to keep their voices online and controlling their breath. She adds that Alfa Choir also gave a good account of themselves. “Bet El Youth Choir performance was the best but Alfa Choir stood out for me with their beautiful voices. They were outstanding and performed in one voice a very good performance ,” judges Johannes Shikongo.
“Bet El Youth Choir surely stood strong together, they deserved what they got because their performance was very lively although all choirs gave their best,” opines Rhonel Boois
Director of the Omaruru Parish Choristers, Roger Nautoro, says: “It is a very good initiative from the side of Old Mutual to plough back into our communities. However, I would propose that the competition be divided in two categories, one for the youth, and one for adults. It was unfortunate for the senior citizens to compete against the young and energetic. By doing so, no one would feel left out.”
He adds that choirs that did not make it to the top three must never give up nor lose hope as what transpired was not a true reflection of the reality. “Continue to invest in the Namibian singing nation so that through choir music in the spirit of Harambee, we will help materialize Vision 2030,” Nautoro encourages.
He further recommends that Old Mutual hires capable judges from South Africa whose choirs are performing at international stages, and have a wide and diverse experience in choral music, both classical and traditional.
Read full story on New Era Newspaper Namibia