YOUTH, Sport, Arts and Recreation minister Kirsty Coventry will be the guest of honour at this year’s edition of the Federation for Choral Music in Zimbabwe festival (FMCZ) set for November 30 at the Zimbabwe College of Music in Harare.

Event organiser Pedzisai Chiramba told NewsDay Life & Style yesterday that the choral music fete — running under the theme Choral Music Uniting Communities — will be held at national level for the first time this year.

The festival, designed to celebrate choral music and promote the fast-growing genre, will also be graced by National Arts Council director Nicholas Moyo, as well as the clergy from various denominations and representatives of the corporate world.

“The year’s edition is different from the previous ones in the sense that FCMZ has been rebranded. It has new stakeholders and is shaping up to world standards, matching the likes of the Old Mutual National Choir Festival of South Africa,” Chiramba said.

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“The introduction of categories and provincial events is also a first from previous events. This year also marks the first time FCMZ has launched the festival at national level. It will start with regional eliminations feeding into the national event.”

Due to logistical and budgetary constraints, only three provinces — Masvingo, Harare and Bulawayo — will be represented.

“The event in Harare is a national call and is open to all choirs around the country who can travel to Harare,” Chiramba said.

He said prizes would include a floating trophy, money as well as miniature trophies and shields. Losing choirs would receive token rewards for participating.

FCMZ previously hosted two annual festivals in 2007 and 2014. It hosted its first competition featuring a set song composed by a renowned local composer George Tamisayi.