SA Army hosts week-long annual choral repertoire workshop in Western Cape

South Africa: From 4 to 10 March 2023, the SA Army Annual Choral leadership group converged at the Army Support Base in the Western Cape for a week-long Annual Choral Repertoire Workshop.

SA Army hosts week-long annual choral repertoire workshop in Western Cape
SA Army hosts week-long annual choral repertoire workshop in Western Cape Image credit: Mauritius facebook page

South Africa: From 4 to 10 March 2023, the SA Army Annual Choral leadership group converged at the Army Support Base in the Western Cape for a week-long Annual Choral Repertoire Workshop.

The workshop which the Choir Liaison spearheads, Chaplain M.T.A. Nkayi, will go a long way in enabling the SA Army to find more ways of harnessing and improving the standard of choral music in the South African landward force, market it to the external community.

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Choral music is the art of singing harmoniously, with two or more vocal lines that blend and contrast. It originated in ancient Greece and Rome, where choirs sang in religious ceremonies and theatres. Choral music flourished in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, with composers like Palestrina, Bach, and Handel creating masterpieces for the church and the court. Choral music also reflects the culture and history of different regions, such as the Russian Orthodox chants, the African-American spirituals, and the Celtic folk songs.

Music is also an art that can be used as a form of communication and can unleash different motions of feelings and emotions.

During the workshop, professional musicians from the University of Stellenbosch, who were supported by members from the Army Support Base Western Cape, were invited to this auspicious event to train conductors in order to sharpen theirs in reading the music and conducting the choirs.

On 26 October 2022, during the award evening, which was held at the Combat Training Centre during Exercise Vuk’uhlome, the Chief of the South African Army, Lieutenant General Lawrence Khulekani Mbatha, stated that the General Officers Commanding of Formations and Officers Commanding of other SA Army subsidiaries to partake in the SA Army choral activities.

Lieutenant General Mbatha, who has a special passion for choral music, deemed it fit and proper that the SA Army should host its annual Choral Workshop, which will be aimed at building and training the Choir Chaplains, Chairpersons, adjudicators and conductors prior to the commencement of the year’s Annual SA Army choral competitions.

The Department of Defence and Military Veterans presents the SA Army National Choir Competition to encourage choral music as part of the military lifestyle in the SA National Defence Force and being used as a vehicle to promote esprit de corps and unity in the Armed Forces.

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The workshop was officially closed by Brigadier General D.T. Mumanyi, who spoke about the value of choirs and their melodies in the military. He further commended the choirs for a job well done in Richards Bay during Armed Forces Day 2023 and said that they should continue raising the South African Army’s flag high.