MASERU — South African choral group, SA Singers, are billed to perform at a two-day music festival at Lehakoe Recreational Centre this weekend.
The South African giants will perform at the festival being dubbed the Choral Music Upliftment Initiative Festival.
The group will perform alongside a new local choral team called Lesotho Chorus.
Also lined up for the gig are a Johannesburg-based group called JMI Orchestra.
One of the organisers, Tumelo Makhele, told the Weekender the event is a follow-up to the first one held in August.
The event saw six local choirs competing for M30 000.
“This event has been organised to uplift and help develop the local choral industry,” Makhele said.
He said after the August festival individuals from six competing choirs came together and founded the Lesotho Chorus, a national choir team.
“This weekend’s festival is intended to measure the progress of the choir since its formation,” Makhele said.
He added that they had invited SA Singers, one of South Africa’s most successful choirs, to perform alongside them in a bid to assess their own strengths.
“The mere fact that the national team is made up of individuals from six big community choirs in the country gives us confidence that the event is going to help develop the individuals as well as their respective choirs.”
Makhele said the concert which is being held two weeks before the African Melody Festival (AMF) at Manthabiseng Convention Centre on December 3 will provide choirs with enough time to practise before the event.
He said Lesotho Chorus is under the guidance of two South African conductors, Vumile Nomanyana and Fidwell Mhlongo.
“Our mandate is to see the local choral industry grow to the same level as that of South Africa so we have come up with a strategy to team up with big choirs to improve our skills.
“This is not a competition but an exchange of notes, a learning platform and preparation for both choirs.”
SA Singers will be defending their title at the National Choir Festival on December 10 and 11.
Makhele said Lesotho Chorus has undergone intensive preparations to perform 30 pieces.
“We are measuring our skills so we are going to offer 30 pieces categorised in 10 vernacular pieces, 10 Western pieces accompanied by orchestra and 10 traditional pieces,” he said.
“The national team has never interfered with the local choirs’ practice schedules because we practised on weekends and we will disband immediately on Sunday after the show to return to our respective choirs and prepare for the AMF.