Note2note: A bet that’s shaken the world

Chelsea Moyo
WHAT started as a bet between friends is now a remarkable choir capable of competing with the world’s best.

Note2note is a community choir that was formed in January 2016 by friends Sabelo Nyoni-Maswaure and Kuda Nyemba, who wanted to see if they could turn amatures into professional choral singers in eight weeks.

The founders had noted that after singing in high school choirs, there was no outfit that produced music that lifted the soul in an such ebullient way, combining different genres from African beats to classical pieces.

The only choral groups that existed in Harare were mass choirs of a gospel nature, mainly singing at their places of worship, and those of a highly classical nature performing at events like the Old Mutual National Choral Festival.

Taking up the challenge, the founders began recruiting friends they knew had been high school or church choir singers, to join their experiment.

The first event the group performed at was the National Institute of Allied Arts Eisteddfod, singing “Ndikhokhele Bawo” and surprisingly taking the Rotary Trophy for Traditional and Contemporary African performance.

Since then, Note2note has performed at memorial services, benefit concerts and Christmas events among other events.

Now they are set to scale greater heights when they take part in the World Choir Games – the largest choir contest on the globe – next year in Tshwane, South Africa.

The event is organised for amateur choirs regardless of genre, and the motto is “Singing together brings nations together”.

The contest originated from the effort to bring nations together through music. Organised by Interkultur Foundation, the focus is to inspire people to experience the strength of interaction.

This will be the first time the competition is hosted in Africa.

“Note2note has grabbed this opportunity to not only be one of the choirs representing Zimbabwe but to also bring the World Champions title home,” said Nyoni-Maswaure, co-founder of the group.

The group took part in this year’s NIAA Eisteddfod and won four trophies, including for their a capella performance of Katy Perry’s “Roar”.

Musical director Nyoni-Maswaure is a trained pianist and choral director with over 40 years experience in music. She works with Imbuwa Aongola, who is a music director, choral conductor, composer, arranger and voice coach with over 15 years experience in choral music.

Aongola is also a classical/crossover baritone who enjoys singing sacred arias and inspirational music.

Together, Sabelo and Imbuwa work to create a choir that understands the style of music that they are singing and aim to have a musically literate choir by the end of the year.

The group is holding auditions every Saturday until July 31 for new voices to be added to their numbers; and they will also be taking part in fundraisers ahead of the World Choir Games.

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