Joyous Celebration is a South African Gospel choir which was formed in 1994 following the success of South Africa's first democratic elections. What was merely meant to be a one-time studio project by South African musicians turned into a massive platform for upcoming South African artists. The choir has enjoyed success in South Africa and the rest of the African continent, having released 22 albums as of 2018. It is one of South Africa's most successful gospel choirs, following acts like The Soweto Gospel Choir.
The choir was formed by the well-known gospel producers in the country; Lindelani Mkhize, Jabu Hlongwane and Mthunzi Namba. The choir has been sponsored by Giant telecommunications Network MTN, hence the name 'MTN Joyous Celebration'. Previous sponsors include 'Old Mutual' and other South African media partners. The choir usually comprises 30 to 35 singers and a 6 to 12 piece band. There are usually 8 to 10 sopranosingers, 8 to 10 contralto singers and 10 to 13 tenor singers. The founders try to change singers often in order to give others the same platform and exposure, this by holding auditions often. Most singers stay with the choir for a period of 1 to 5 years; however, others do go over that period, with previous singers such as Ntokozo Mbambo, the previous musical director Nqubeko Mbatha having stayed with the choir for 11 years each. The current lead guitarist Msizi Mashiane has since surpassed any individual to join the project having been with the choir since the recording of Joyous Celebration 10 in 2005 to date. The founders often refer to Joyous Celebration as a gospel project as the singers are not only trained in music but how one carries themselves as a gospel musician and how to basically stand on their own in the tough music and ministry industry.
Joyous Celebration release albums annually and have broken boundaries in the South African recording industry in terms of live DVD and CD recordings with a total of 24 live Albums from the years 1997-present. Most of the latter albums contain music composed by the singers, the founders and the friends of the choir in both the traditional and contemporary gospel industry. They also keep to the signature of true South African praise and worship with traditional songs which have been sung in church for decades. In addition the title of their albums in latter years often indicates the tiltle of the tour of the subsequent year.
Joyous Celebration (1997) Joyous Celebration 2 Live in Durban at The Durban Christian Centre later known as the Jesus Dome (1998) Joyous Celebration 3 Live in Johannesburg at The Market Theatre (1999) Joyous Celebration 4: Connecting the Nation - Live in Durban at The Playhouse (2000) Joyous Celebration 5 Live in Johannesburg at The Civic Theatre (2001) Joyous Celebration 6 Live in Durban (2002) Joyous Celebration 7 Live in Cape Town at The Artscape Theatre (2003) Joyous Celebration 8: To Be Free - Live in Johannesburg (2004) Joyous Celebration 9 Live in Durban (2005) Joyous Celebration 10: Special Anniversary - Live in Johannesburg at The Mosiaek Teatro (2006) Joyous Celebration 11 Live at Sun City, North West at The Sun City Superbowl (2007) Joyous Celebration 12 Live in Cape Town at The Grand West Arena , GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World (2008) Joyous Celebration 13 Live in Johannesburg at The Mosiaek Theatre(2009) Joyous Celebration 14: Life Changing Worship - Live in Bloemfontein at The Vista Arena (2010) Joyous Celebration 15: My Gift To You - Live in Durban at The Durban ICC also known as The Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (2011) Joyous Celebration 16: Royal Priesthood - Live in Johannesburg at Carnival City's Big Top Arena (2012) Joyous Celebration 17: Grateful - Live in Johannesburg at Rhema Bible Church (2013) Joyous Celebration 18: One Purpose - Live in Durban at The City Hill Church, Hillcrest (2014) Joyous Celebration 19: Back to the Cross - Live in Soweto , Johannesburg at Grace Bible Church (2015) Joyous Celebration 20 Live in Durban at The Moses Mabhida Stadium (2016) Joyous Celebration 21: Heal Our Land - Live in Dallas , Texas at The Potter's House (2017) Joyous Celebration 22: All For You - Live in Johannesburg at Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton (2018) Other Releases Joyous Celebration Rewind Live in Johannesburg at Monte Casino (2012) Joyous Celebration Rewind 2 Live in Johannesburg at Monte Casino (2015) Joyous Celebration 20 Part 2: The Alumni Live in Durban at The Moses Mabhida Stadium (2016)