Running from tomorrow to March 26, the National Institute of Allied Arts (NIAA) Eisteddfod offers the public the opportunity to immerse in the amazing musical talent the country enjoys.
By Rosie Mitchell
Children from the age of five through all age groups up to adults, will showcase what they can do at this annual festival — the first of the four presented by NIAA for over a century. If life is getting you down, take advantage of this month-long opportunity to be uplifted and transported for a while by beautiful music and singing.
Starting in Gweru tomorrow at Midlands Christian College, with entries from the Midlands, Masvingo and Bulawayo adjudicated by Albert Chimedza and Max Covini, this lovely festival of music across multiple genres ends on March 26, with the Junior Highlights Concert at Harare International School (HIS). From Tuesday, those in Harare can attend sessions at five venues for $2 a session or $10 a season ticket, granting access to all sessions. These are hosted by Prince Edward, Gateway High, Twin Rivers, HIS and St John’s College. The full programme and tickets can be bought on the door at each venue.
St John’s College hosts the Scottish Classes on March 4 while African choral performances take place at Gateway High School on March 7 and 8. The unmissable Marimba Challenge is at Prince Edward on the afternoon on March 9.
The video clip of the amazingly energetic performance by Watershed School at last year’s challenge was posted on the NIAA Facebook Group page and went viral. It has so far been viewed by nearly nine million people. Junior choirs sing on March 14 and 16 at Twin Rivers and senior choirs at HIS on March 21 and 23, with orchestras and bands on March 24. The evening Vocal Challenge on March 22 is a chance to enjoy the performances of some of Zimbabwe’s very best singers across various genres at HIS.
Showcasing a selection of the most outstanding Eisteddfod entries, the final Eisteddfod concert takes place at HIS at 6:30pm on March 25, with the junior highlights concert the following morning at 11am.
The Eisteddfod encompasses a vast selection of musical genres so there is something for everyone to enjoy. Entrants across the age groups work very hard under the guidance of their teachers to prepare for their performances. In the process as the years go by, they master their musical skills and harness their artistry. The opportunity to perform in public helps them overcome stage fright and learn to enjoy the experience. This fulfils the major objective of the NIAA which is to ensure that the arts both survive and thrive in our country. The 2017 adjudication comprises principal adjudicator Corinne Marsh, Andre Serfontein, Chimedza, Covini, George Tamisai and Mike McMullen, all experienced adjudicators and accomplished musicians.
l There were nearly 1 900 entries for 2017 from 49 junior schools, 42 senior schools and 40 private teachers and studios. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/niaazim and www.niaazim.co.zw for more.