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Mohapeloa seek auditions bye

Lerato Matheka

MASERU — Four-time African Melody Festival winners Mohapeloa Singers have once against asked that they don’t go through auditions to compete in the highest category of this year’s edition.

Mohapeloa Singers were last year booted out of the festival after they refused to attend auditions on the basis that they were the defending champions.

The Choral Music Federation of Lesotho (CMFL) requires every choir that wants to take part in the annual festival to go through auditions.

The auditions determine the category — be it gold, silver or bronze — that a choir is suitable to compete in.

Mohapeloa Singers, as the 2008 champions, last year demanded an automatic entry into the gold section.

“We were champions of the 2008 competition so all we wanted was to be honoured,” Tšepo Khoachele, the choir’s public relations officer, told Xpress People.

“We wrote to the CMFL requesting that we only stand as defending champs at last year’s competition rather than auditioning for the award we were already holding.

“But according to the CMLF committee, our request was late and could not be attended to so we were kicked out of the competition.”

This time round Mohapeloa Singers have once again asked the CMFL to “honour” them.

Khoachele said the choir felt they deserved an automatic berth in the gold section of the festival.

“We have written to the CMFL again asking that we do not audition but just compete at the gold level which we qualify for,” he said.

CMFL secretary Sitsane Letsie however said the federation was still discussing the choir’s request.

“We are currently dealing with Mohapeloa Singers’ request of automatically being promoted to the gold category of the competition yet they have just renewed their membership,” he said.

Letsie said he was confident Mohapeloa Singers would not find it hard to make it into the gold section if they attended the auditions.

“If Mohapeloa decide to audition, there is no doubt they are going to compete in the gold category because of their level of music. After all they are among the top choral groups in the country,” he added.

The dates for the auditions have not been set as yet, but the festival is likely to take place in the first week of December.

The African Melody Festival, which started in 2003, will see the likes of Maseru Vocal Waves, Maseru City Choral and Loreto LCYM among other groups  competing for the gold award.

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