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Local soloists to perform abroad

Lerato Matheka

MASERU — Twenty-two local soloists have been picked to perform with a South African Chamber Orchestra and Chorus choir in Botswana later this year.
The soloists will be trained and mentored by a South Africa-based music manager Tsietsi Mofokeng.
Mofokeng manages and directs a 74-member orchestra and choir called African Chamber Orchestra & Chorus (Afcoc).
He was one of the South African adjudicators at the African Melody Festival last year and the Sunrise Scrapyard Festival of Voices last month.
Speaking to XpressPeople on Friday, Mofokeng said he felt compelled to help develop the potential of individuals in Lesotho’s choral industry.
“After facilitating a workshop and adjudicating at the Sunrise Scrapyard Festival of Voices, I saw lots of potential in the soloists.
“Most of them need formal training in vocal art but unfortunately there are just a handful of good voice coaches there (Lesotho),” Mofokeng said.
He added that local soloists lacked vocal music capabilities and this needed to be worked on in order to help develop choral music in the country.
“This is also my small contribution towards skills development and an effort to help create employment in Lesotho through grooming of talent.”
The chosen soloists who are categorised under tenor, soprano, alto, baritone and trios will perform in Gaborone and Serowe in Botswana later this year at a number of events.
The artistes are expected to visit and perform at the Lesotho Embassy in Botswana and also for former Botswana president Sir Ketumile Masire.
Masire is a friend and fan of Afcoc, Mofokeng said.
The soloists are also scheduled to perform at the Sir Seretse Khama Church in Gaborone.
On Christmas Day they will conclude with a performance at a church service in Serowe.
The choristers will be in Botswana from December 21-26.
Mofokeng said going to Botswana with the local artistes will give him a chance to train and develop them “in the real atmosphere of performance which needs intensive hard work”.
Exposing the artistes to the rigorous strain of the performing arts world will enable them to learn the demands and requirements of working 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,” Mofokeng said
In a separate interview, Teboho Nepo, of Maseru City Choral (MCC) said this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for him to boost his music career.
“This opportunity means I am growing as a chorister and I am very happy,” he said.
MCC came third in the tenor section of the Sunrise Scrapyard Festival of Voices.
Nepo said his dream of becoming one of the best soloists in the country was now close to reality.
“I am very excited,” Nepo said.
He thanked his choir for giving him the platform to showcase his talent.
“With the support and encouragement of MCC, I wouldn’t have reached this far. They helped me build my talent, groomed it and created a platform for me and I am very thankful.”
Choral Music Federation of Lesotho president, Mpiti Mopeli, said he was grateful for the arrangement made by Mofokeng.
“Receiving assistance like this in developing choral music in the country means the federation is on the right track,” Mopeli said.
“Our initiatives are recognised and we are very proud of the individuals who will get the best experience of their musical career.”
Mopeli called on local companies to help fund the soloists’ transport fares to Johannesburg, South Africa.

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