THIS year’s edition of the annual choral music festival has attracted more participants, with 12 high school and 13 church choirs set to battle for honours at the event set for Saturday at Zimbabwe College of Music (ZCM) Hall in Harare.

The college executive director, Rachael Jera-Chigwanda yesterday told NewsDay that they were overwhelmed by the growth of the festival which has helped to develop talent and acted as a platform for interaction through choral music.

“As an institution that promotes art in Zimbabwe we are committed to hosting this choral music festival that unites choirs from diverse fields and also develop choristers. The main thrust of the festival is for choristers to share as well as learn from each so as to improve their choral skills,” she said.

She said with the increased number of choirs this year, they have been forced to group the participants into two categories were the high school choirs will compete separately from the church choirs.

“Singing is a wonderful release and opportunity to express one’s thoughts and feelings. The growth of the festival will encourage other choral groups to participate in this unlimited festival,” she said.

She said although there would be adjudicators, the festival to be held under the theme We Produce Musical Art Professionals was not a competition, but a platform to learn through identifying shortcomings.

Waddilove High School’s 60-member choir is the reigning champion of the festival after it shrugged off stiff competition from eight other choirs last year to pocket $500, plus a trophy, for their victory.

Apostolic Faith Mission AZUSA Revival Centre Choir came second and walked away $300 richer, while Salvation Army Chitungwiza got $200 for occupying third position.