Standard Bank Injects E330 000 towards Annual Choral Music Competition

Standard Bank has once again partnered with the National Choral Music Association (NCMA) for the annual Choral Music Competition, injecting E330,000 into the event.

This year’s contribution sees an increase of E30,000, signaling the bank’s confidence in the burgeoning choral talent of Eswatini.

The competition, which has become a cornerstone of the country’s cultural offerings, will take place at the Esibayeni Lodge on May 26, 2024. Known as the home of choral music, the lodge will host choirs from across the nation, including new entrants from Lubombo and Shiselweni, vying for a grand prize of E10,000.

In a bid to enrich the event’s diversity, the National Council of Arts and Culture is advocating for a broader range of musical genres and the inclusion of more SiSwati compositions and Swati judges.

This move aims to inspire local musicians and celebrate the nation’s cultural heritage. The council is also collaborating with the association to organize annual workshops to train a new generation of judges for the competition.

Mlamuli Hlatshwayo, the Head of Business and Commercial Banking at Standard Bank, who spoke on behalf of the Chief Executive, Mvuselelo Fakudze said the sponsorship underscores the Bank’s commitment to supporting local arts and culture initiatives.

“As a bank, we are proud to associate with this fraternity. The Choral Music Competition has demonstrated its power to bring together people from diverse backgrounds, fostering a sense of community and strengthening the social and moral fabric of our nation. We have seen the competition growing lips and bounds and has become an integral part of the arts industry,” he said.

Hlatshwayo further congratulated the participating choirs for their talent and commended His Majesty’s Correctional Services Choir for their success at the Tshwane Choral Music Festival.

“To us, the achievements of the Correctional Services Choir are a testament and proof that the choral music fraternity is a regional force to be reckoned with and we strongly encourage that as a bank. All we wish for as a bank is to see our people grow in the sector they have chosen,” Hlatshwayo said.

Sihle Gumbi, President of the NCMA, expressed gratitude for Standard Bank’s long-standing partnership and support. He emphasized the importance of sponsorship in elevating the standard of choral music in the country.

The Choral Music Competition is more than just a contest; it’s a platform to showcase and elevate local talent, potentially opening doors for Eswatini’s choral singers on the international stage. As the competition grows, it continues to strengthen the moral fabric of the nation and becomes an integral part of Eswatini’s artistic identity.

The National Council of Arts and Culture (NCAC) seeks to promote diversity in future competitions and include other Standard Bank-sponsored associations, such as Miss Eswatini. The Council also aims to incorporate more SiSwati songs and Swati judges into the competition to encourage local music composition. NACAC and the NCMA are working together to train and educate judges to ensure fairness and professionalism in adjudicating.

Tickets for the competition will be sold exclusively through Unayo, Standard Bank’s digital platform. General tickets will be priced at E120, while a limited number of VIP tickets will be available at E350.

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