MASERU — Thirteen soloists are billed to perform at the Botswana Cultural Fest from December 7 – 10 in Gaborone and Lobatse. The choral soloists will perform with South African Chamber Orchestra and Chorus. The group which performed well in the soloist categories of the Sunrise Scrapyard Festival of Voices was given the opportunity by the South Africa-based maestro Tsietsi
The soloists are categorised under Tenor, Soprano, Alto, Baritone and Trios.
Mofokeng, who was a judge at the Sunrise Scrapyard Festival of Voices, manages and directs a 74-member African Chamber Orchestra & Chorus (AFCOC). He told Xpress People the performance is sponsorship to develop local choral music in Lesotho. “After facilitating a workshop and adjudicating at the Sunrise Scrapyard Festival of Voices, I saw lots of potential in the soloists and most of them needed formal training in vocal art but unfortunately there are just a handful of good voice coaches there (in Lesotho).”
“The soloists lack genuine vocal music capabilities which I can help with. This is also my small contribution in a skills development initiative to help eliminate unemployment in Lesotho through talent grooming,” he said.
Mofokeng said the opportunity of exposing the soloists to the rigorous demands of the performing arts world would enable them to learn the demands and requirements of workings with an orchestra.
“This opportunity marks the beginning of their music careers but only if they behave and try to implement the skills given to them during the intensive daily rehearsals before performances,” he said.
The group was initially intended to perform in Botswana from December 21 to 26 but the Choral Music Federation of Lesotho (CMFL) spokesperson Sam Letima told Xpress People, “We were told the Botswana officials whom the group would be performing for won’t be available during that time”.
“The soloists are from different choirs and as CMFL we are very proud that our competitions are bearing fruitful for the choristers.” “The return trip from Gauteng to Botswana will be fully financed by Maestro Mofokeng while CMFL will be financing the return trip to Gauteng from Lesotho,” Letima said.
He said the federation intends to hold more opportunity-filled competitions and events in a bid to develop choral music in thecountry. “The soloists are from the likes of Maseru City Choral, Mohapeloa Singers, Serumula Performing Arts Academy, Sekamaneng LEC, Mofumahali oa Tlholo LCYM, St Luke LCYM and Phomolong High School,” Letima said.