THE choral group of the Serumula Performing Arts Academy (SPAA) has finally released its debut album titled Best of Serumula – Soothing Choral Sounds.
According to Serumula Conductor Lehlomela Tente, the 26-track offering is a compilation of Eucharist and Lutheran Hymns, African folk songs, classics and western classical choral works. He said the album also includes previously recorded live performances of Sesotho, English, German, Latin and Italian songs.
Despite notching countless awards in Lesotho and beyond since its founding nine years ago, he said SPAA Choral Group opted to delay recording their debut album much to the chagrin of its legion of fans.
“We should have released an album in our first year of existence, but decided against it because we were not confident with the quality of the recording equipment at our disposal,” Tente told the Weekender this week.
“This did not go down well with our fans who continued to pressurize us to record. We were left with no choice but to look for the M48 000 that was needed to record the album since we used the studios in Bloemfontein.
“We were very impressed with the way the songs were mastered and confident enough to offer the album to our fans.”
He said most of the album’s songs were hymns from various churches such as Roman Catholic Church, Evangelical Church, Anglican Church and Seventh Day Adventist.
“This is because we come from different churches and don’t want any of our members or fans to feel left out,” said Tente.
“We decided to record songs that we were performed before with the belief that they appeal to people in different ways. We also featured compositions by the likes of JP Mohapeloa.”
He said the album was currently available at their offices, although they were working on various distribution channels to ensure it is available in Lesotho and South Africa.
Henceforth, SPAA Choral Group will record on a regular basis Tente said.
“We have been operational for the past nine years and believe it is high time choir members earned a living from their talents,” he said.
“Our intention is to release an album on an annual basis from now on to ensure that members of the choir gain something from copy sales.”
SPAA Choral Group is one of the biggest harmonic ensembles in the country and has represented the country in South Africa winning the National Choir Festival, African Melody Festival and Mangaung Choral Music Association competition among others. Locally, the choir is also the current African Melody Festival champions.
Last month, the group successfully defended their Gauteng Choral Music Association overall winner title in Alberton, Pretoria.