Choir to cel­e­brate sil­ver ju­bilee

Lesotho Times - - Weekender - Mo­halenyane Phakela Mo­halenyaneMo­halenya Phakela

JAZZ singer Nthakoana Ngatane has been se­lected to au­di­tion for the Bri­tish tele­vi­sion tal­ent show The Voice UK on 21 June 2016. How­ever, the songstress told the Week­ender this week she does not have the M20 000 needed for her trans­port and ac­com­mo­da­tion costs. The Voice UK is a re­al­ity tele­vi­sion se­ries that fea­tures top mu­si­cians and pro­duc­ers who serve as coaches look­ing for a tal­ented new artist, who could be­come a global su­per­star. The coaches do not judge the artists by their looks, per­son­al­i­ties, stage pres­ence or dance rou­tines but only their vo­cal abil­ity. They in­clude pro­ducer and singer will.i.am, singers Rita Ora and Jessie J among oth­ers. Past win­ners in­clude Leanne Mitchell, An­drea Be­g­ley, Jer­maine Jack­son, Ste­vie McCrorie and Kevin Simm. The win­ner of the 2017 edi­tion will land a record­ing deal with top Bri­tish la­bel, Poly­dor Records, which has recorded artists in­clud­ing James Brown, El­ton John and Ch­eryl Cole. Ngatane, who is also a lo­cal SABC cor­re­spon­dent, said she was strug­gling to raise the money to cover the air­fare and visa ex­penses among other costs. “The re­turn ticket to the United King­dom will cost about M11 000, while the visa costs M7 500 which I am un­able to raise,” she said.

“I in­tend to leave for Lon­don on 18 June to have enough time to pre­pare for the au­di­tions. So, the cost of ac­com­mo­da­tion will de­pend on the num­ber of days I will spend there.”

Ngatane called on good Samar­i­tans to come to her aid in rais­ing the money, say­ing her par­tic­i­pa­tion would also raise Le­sotho’s pro­file.

“I have looked at the artists who won The Voice UK in the past, and none of them were from a small coun­try like Le­sotho with the at­ten­dant chal­lenges for up-and-com­ing artists,” she said.

“If I win the com­pe­ti­tion, I will es­tab­lish con­nec­tions with prom­i­nent peo­ple in the mu­sic in­dus­try to pave the way for lo­cal artists to make in­roads be­yond Le­sotho’s bor­ders.

“Even if I fail to win the con­test, it would still be ben­e­fi­cial since I will show­case what Le­sotho has to of­fer on a global plat­form.”

The Matukeng-born singer has two al­bums un­der her belt namely Jour­ney to My­self (2007) and Mosia Mo­to­batsi which was re­leased in 2011. One of Ngatane’s most known com­po­si­tions is Msholozi, in which she ap­peals to South Africa – through Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma – to treat Ba­sotho with more com­pas­sion as a neigh­bour­ing coun­try.

She has per­formed in Botswana and South Africa where she fea­tured on var­i­ous SABC mu­sic pro­grammes such as Afro Café and Moribo. Ngatane has also been a judge on the Vo­da­com Le­sotho Su­per­star tal­ent search com­pe­ti­tion. VOICES will ring out in har­mony on 3 July 2016 as Maseru City Cho­rale (MCC) celeb cel­e­brates a land­mark an­niver­sary at AVANI Maseru Ho­tel. The com­mu­ni­ty­com choir will mark 25 years since its found­ing in style, with an event set to fea­ture South Afric African con­duc­tors. Ac­cord­ing to MCC chair­per­son, Lebohang Le­supi, the choir ini­tially con­sisted of Maseru City Coun­cil em­ploy­ees but over t time added other peo­ple to its ran ranks. Over the years, MCC has notched a num­ber of ac­co­lades in­cludi in­clud­ing the African Melody Fes­tiv Fes­ti­val among oth­ers. The 98-me 98-mem­ber choir also con­tested in a num­ber of South Afric African com­pe­ti­tions such as th the Gaut­eng Choral Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion, Len­gaung Cho Choral Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion and Na­tional Choir Fed­er­a­tio ation in which it ac­quit­ted itse it­self well. ““MCC is the only choir in t the coun­try to reach the 2525-year mile­stone with­out eve ever split­ting, and that is the ex­cep­tion in the ch choral mu­sic sec­tor,” she sa said.

“What has served as our strong point is that no one owns Maseru City Cho­rale. It is a com­mu­nity choir in which de­ci­sions are made with the in­put of ev­ery mem­ber.”

Le­supi said they would also hon­our long serv­ing mem­bers of the choir dur­ing the show.

“At the event, we will look back at the jour­ney the choir has trav­elled and hon­our those who con­trib­uted to its de­vel­op­ment, not for­get­ting those who have fallen by the way­side.”

She said they in­vited guest con­duc­tors from South Africa to spice up the event.

“We have in­vited con­duc­tors from South Africa. Th­ese are Thabong Ser­e­nades, Coun­try Voices and Voices of the Na­tion who will be lead­ing Maseru City Cho­rale at the event,” said Le­supi.

“They are ex­pected to ar­rive a day be­fore the cer­e­mony so they can prac­tice with the choir. We be­lieve that our mem­bers will learn a thing or two from our guest con­duc­tors.”

She said they were hop­ing to re­vive the na­tional choral mu­sic com­pe­ti­tion which would fo­cus on soloists.

“They will be held in the var­i­ous re­gions, with the north­ern re­gion in Leribe, cen­tral in Maseru and south­ern in Mafeteng. How­ever, the dates are yet to be con­firmed,” Le­supi said.

JAZZ singer Nthakoana Ngatane.

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