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Choral music federation axes local adjudicators

Lerato Matheka

MASERU — The Choral Music Federation of Lesotho (CMFL) says it is suspending local adjudicators indefinitely.

The decision to suspend the adjudicators was announced last week.

This means the federation will now hire foreign adjudicators to preside at the African Melody Festival (AMF) later this year.

CMFL public relations officer, Sam Letima, confirmed the development with Xpress People this week.

“Last year’s competition saw local choirs roaring with rage because of irregularities of the final results from two Basotho adjudicators — Patrick Marabe and Molefe Motloung.

“We have therefore decided to bar local judges from participating at the competition this year,” Letima said.

He said he was not sure for how long the association will suspend local adjudicators from taking part in the competition.

He said the committee decided to suspend local adjudicators because the irregularities could negatively affect AMF funding.

“We have experienced questionable decisions on the results of the competition and we felt this could negatively affect funding for the competition,” Letima said.

He said the federation started experiencing irregulaties in 2009.

He added that Marabe and Motloung were at the centre of the problems.

“Our association with Marabe and Motloung had been fruitful throughout the years until last year when their results showed some irregularities causing war among CMFL and local choirs,” Letima said.

He added: “After last year’s final results in the gold category of the competition, all adjudicators were asked to compile a report for the CMFL executive committee to evaluate. We then recognised imbalances in the adjudicators’ reports.”

He said the CMFL committee decided to ask choir conductors’ inputs before taking a decision.

“The choir conductors also sang the same tune as the committee urging the 2011 competition to have foreign adjudicators only,” Letima said.

He however said local adjudicators will undergo intensive training to help bring them on the same level with their foreign counterparts.

“We are preparing to hold training for potential local adjudicators to groom them for proper judging,” he said.

He said the training will be open to everyone interested in choral music as well as choir conductors.

“The training is intended for all individuals interested in choral music and it is mandated to offer relevant skills to grow choral music in the country and increase professionalism.”

Letima said the competition’s organising committee is already recruiting foreigners for the 2011 competition pencilled for the first week of December.

“The organising committee is already recruiting foreign adjudicators and all the judges who took part in last year’s competition will not participate. We will be having only foreign judges for the 2011 competition for transparency.”

Letima said at least 32 local choirs had already registered for the competition and will participate in the bronze, silver and gold categories.

“We are still open for further registration of other local choirs but we already have 32 choirs registered already,” Letima said.

“We have publicised the music prescription for all choirs and we will be releasing the music for practice in April to prepare for the 2011 competition,” he said.

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