Catholic Church Choirs from all parts of the Gaborone Diocese will compete in the 4th Annual Bishop’s Festival at St. Joseph’s College multipurpose hall in Kgale on 30th May 2015. The festival will start at 10h00 after the Holy Mass.
This festival, which is a brainchild of Bishop Valentine Seane, is meant to help nurture sacred music artistry and talent in the singers and in the church as a whole. This year will see 29 choirs from both parishes and outstations all over the Diocese participate in four categories namely: Youth Section (singers 35 years and below), Section C (up to 26 singers), Standard Section (up to 48 singers) and Large Section (up to 60 singers). Each choir in each category will render three prescribed pieces as follows, a Hymn with a provided score; a part of Mass which is to be composed and a psalm which is also to be composed. The key focus of any of the songs will be its liturgical appropriateness (to see if the mood, rhythm, melody and such other aspects of music are consonant with the liturgy of the Catholic Church). Further, in order to inculcate some aspects of the Setswana culture into the Catholic liturgy, composed parts of Mass and Psalms are expected to have a level certain of enculturation, either through melody, rhythm or instruments.
The Bishop’s festival, now on its 4th year, is not only a sign of growth of music in the Diocese but also a sign that Catholic Church Choirs understand that music is a powerful tool of communication and can arouse any emotion in its listeners. Conductors are becoming increasingly aware of music’s potential power and cultivate the belief that their conducting techniques can have similar effects if they correctly emulate stylistic trends. Singers continue to use their voices to help bring people of God closer to him. The entrance fee for the public is P40 for adults and P10 for kids.