While without doubt we are facing challenges in our country, the arts sector is still as vibrant as ever.
“The show must go on” — and it assuredly does!
The National Institute of Allied Arts (NIAA) Vocal and Instrumental Eisteddfod kicked off to a great start in Gweru on 27 February and runs right through to the weekend of 25 and 26 March. 2017 Eisteddfod Adjudicators, Albert Chimedza and Max Covini, travelled down to Midlands Christian College, which again kindly hosted the sessions.
They enjoyed themselves, and were well-impressed by the standard of Midlands, Masvingo and Bulawayo entries.
The Final Eisteddfod Concert takes place at Harare International School at 6:30pm on 25 March, followed by the Junior Highlights Concert on 26 March at 11am. If you love beautiful music and want to be reminded of the incredible talent coming up in our midst in Zimbabwe, diarise these two shows and do not miss them!
They epitomise what is great about this country. No matter what hurdles are encountered, the ever-resourceful artistic community always pulls out the stops to mesmerise us with their skill, talent and creativity.
Thousands of school children and scores of adults are involved in delivering another amazing Eisteddfod, delighting families, friends and the public with their performances at Prince Edward, Gateway High, Twin Rivers, St John’s College and the Harare International School, the four generous Harare hosts once again.
All adjudication sessions are open to the public at a modest $2; better still buy a Season Ticket for $10, whereby you can come and go as you please! Attendance will certainly give you a lift if you are currently feeling a bit despondent.
Other exciting events to diarise are the Marimba Challenge at Prince Edward on the afternoon of 9 March and the Vocal Challenge at Harare International School on the evening of 22 March.
A video clip of Watershed School’s delightfully energetic performance at last year’s Marimba Challenge was posted on the NIAA Facebook page and promptly went viral! To date, this has been viewed by over eight million people globally! The Vocal Challenge is another unmissable Eisteddfod event, featuring the cream of the crop of local vocal talent across the genres.
The Eisteddfod, the first of four annual festivals which the NIAA has been putting together for over 100 years, encompasses all kinds of music — from traditional African to Western classical, from mbira to bagpipes, modern jazz to classical strings, woodwind, brass, drum kit, soloists, ensembles, choirs, orchestras, bands, a cappella singing and more.
There’s something for everyone to enjoy, while those delivering performances before the adjudicators, from age five and upwards, have the pleasure of mastering their chosen musical skills and experiencing the challenge, joy and sense of accomplishment, derived from performing in public. This is how the NIAA — run primarily by volunteers — helps ensure that the arts survive now, into the future and for generations to come.
Other members of the Adjudication team this year are; principal adjudicator Corinne Marsh, Andre Serfontein, George Tamisai and Mike McMullen, all of them well-known, accomplished musicians in their own right, and well-experienced at adjudication.
The six adjudicators will work tirelessly this month. Given the high standard of delivery and talent seen at each festival, their job is never easy, but always enjoyable!
There were nearly 1 900 entries this year, with participation by a pleasing 49 junior and 42 senior schools, as well as 40 private teachers/studios. African choral performances take place at Gateway High School on 7 and 8 March.
St John’s College is this year’s venue for Scottish Classes on 4 March. Junior choirs sing on 14 and 16 March at Twin Rivers. Parents and public are encouraged to come really early for these performances, as vast numbers of children are involved, hence time must be allowed to park and walk to the hall.
Senior choirs perform at Harare International School on 21 and 23 March, with orchestras and bands on 24 March.
Full programmes and tickets are available on the doors at every venue. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/niaazim and www.niaazim.co.zw for more, and make a point of enjoying this year’s Eisteddfod — it will lift you up!