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MBABANE – St Mary’s High School scored 149 points to become champions of this year’s EswatiniBank Schools Choral Music Competition in the Mbabane Region eliminations round.

The school outdid themselves in the Hhohho Region elimination rounds, defeating two schools in the intermediate category to become the champions during a tight competition, held at MDS Hall in Mbabane on Friday. The two other schools were Mhlatane and Elangeni High. It is worth mentioning that the other mixed choirs were under the elementary category and they included Nyakatfo High School, eNdzingeni High School, St. Francis High school, MDS High School and Piggs Peak Central High school. The moment the school sang the western song titled ‘Ye house of Gilead ’, conducted by Sthembiso Dlamini, who is also the Head teacher of the school, it became clear to the audience that this choir was ready to fight tooth and nail for the title. To become champions, the school had to sing two songs, the first one being the Western and African song titled ‘Ngena Nawe’ by Dominic Gamedze, who is a local music composer. The rendition of the Western piece was the one that set the choir apart and even got them a standing ovation from the audience. In the elementary category, Nyakatfo High School got the highest marks with an overall score of 162, where the other two schools were behind by 20 points in second place and third place got 142 points. Most choirs had a problem with the key as at times they would transpose in the middle of the song, resulting in the song’s key changing.  The St. Mary’s choristers were able to sing the song throughout, without having changed the key, something which convinced the adjudicators, of an all South African panel, to pick them as the champions. St Mary’s took the title, where Mhlatane High School came second with 13 points behind, while Elangeni High School came third with 102 points. The finals of the competition will be held from July 6 to July 9 seeing different groups and categories perform on each day.