St. Cecilia choral competition 2022 held in memory of Fr. Emmanuel Ribeiro in Harare

By Moses Tinashe Mazena

One of the choirs at St. Cecilia music competitions in Harare.

It was a battle of the best of voices on 26 November 2022 at the Catholic University, in the Archdiocese of Harare. Nine out of the 10 deaneries of the Archdiocese battled it out in the St Cecilia choral competition. Only Marondera Deanery could not attend the competition.

By Moses Tinashe Mazena

This year’s competition was held in a unique way in order to harness the synodal spirit within the choristers from the Archdiocese of Harare.  The competition started with the celebration of Holy mass which was attended by more than five thousand congregants. The main celebrant was Fr. Silungwe S.J supported by Frs. Gabriel Mberi, Vitalis Benza, Paul Mayeresa S.J and Richard Majuta. In his homily, the spiritual director Fr. Silungwe S.J gave an admonition to all choristers that they should love, unite and respect one another as they are one family.

“The goal is not in the competition but in the glorification of God,” said Fr. Silungwe S.J.

The competition song was a prayer in memory of the late Fr. Emmanuel Ribeiro, who is nationally known as the father of sacred music and enculturation in Zimbabwe. The first choir to go on stage was Outer City Deanery, with an approximate number of more than 400 singers. This choir was unique in the sense that it constituted more than 50 seminarians as Chishawasha seminary falls in this deanery geographically. Their own choice was “Kupinduka kwaPauro Mupositori.”

The competition ended around 4pm with the announcement of the long awaited results. The first position was taken by North West deanery followed by South West of City deanery on position 2. Inner City deanery got the third position followed by ties on position 4 with Outer City Deanery and South East of City. Chitungwiza Deanery was on position 6 followed by Northern Deanery on position 7, West Deanery on position 8 and finally East Deanery on position 9. The best choir master was Jeremiah from North Deanery.

The competition ended in jubilation. Well done to all those who sacrificed their time in organising such a memorable event. 

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