LAHORE: The Punjab Information and Culture Ministry has organised a musical talent show titled Voice of Punjab (VOP). The event was previously postponed earlier due to the Sahiwal tragedy but will now be held on March 2, 2019.
The ministry has engaged numerous renowned singers for the programme, the winner of which will be awarded Rs500,000. The runner up and second runner up will receive Rs200,000 and Rs100,000 respectively.
Punjab Information and Culture Minister Fayyazul Hasan Chohan has been holding meetings with famed singers with regards to VOP. It is pertinent to mention here that it was Chohan himself who came up with the idea and VOP in a bid to promote young talent and improve the music industry.
Although there have been various issues in the past with regards to a lack of supervision within the industry, the current government is taking the necessary steps to make improvements. Chohan is monitoring the organisation of the show himself.
Earlier, he established an advisory council for the welfare of the theatre industry. Other than that, he has also dissolved the Punjab Film Censor Board committees last year to eradicate corruption from the film business. Now, he has shifted his focus to the music industry.
According to the Ministry, the talent hunt for VOP has already begun. It has ensured that the programme - from the preliminary auditions to the grand finale - will be conducted in a transparent manner. Chohan also held a meeting with the media to share details about it.
The show is open for all singers up until the age of 35, irrespective of their gender. This forum will explore the many talented singers across the province. "The government of Punjab has allocated a fund of Rs13 million for this programme. The auditions of aspiring singers will be held from March 2 to March 4 all around Punjab, including Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan and Rawalpindi," explained the minister.
He continued, "Twenty singers will be selected from each division. About five people will then be chosen for the quarter finals to be held in Alhamra Arts Council, Lahore, on March 8, March 12, March 16 and March 20. The semi-final will be carried out on March 23 and 26."
Chohan went on to add that the contestants will be given a week's worth of training by renowned singers. "They will be provided with the best facilities so that they may exhibit their talent in this art in a befitting manner."
This gathering was also attended by some renowned figures including Ghulam Mohyuddin, Nisho Begum, Waris Baig, Shahida Mini and Pervaiz Kaleem.
The minister observed that VOP would bring forward talented aspiring singers which are yet to be discovered due to a lack of opportunities. Chohan also hoped that this forum would explore great singers like Mehdi Hassan, Noor Jahan, Alam Lohar and others.
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