Choir to celebrate silver jubilee
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.