TWENTY seven local and South African groups will battle for honours in the popular Standard Lesotho Bank African Melody Festival (SLB AMF) this Sunday at ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre in Maseru.
This year’s 14th edition of the annual choirs’ competition will feature a new Interdenominational category in addition to the usual Standard and Large categories.
The competition was launched in 2003 by the Choral Music Federation of Lesotho (CMFL) to uplift choral music in the country. In 2014 the contest opened its doors to South African choirs as a gesture of reciprocation since Basotho often compete in South African competitions.
CMFL spokesperson, Khotola Mokoto this week told the Weekender that the Interdenominational category had been introduced to cater for church choirs.
“Most of our choirs are made up of members from different local churches therefore leaving church choirs in a position where they cannot compete with such choirs so it was necessary to create a category which would cater for them,” Mokoto said.
“The other two categories are for community choirs but they differ because the Large section is for established choirs that have at least 49 members while the standard focuses on upcoming choirs with less than 49 members.”
He said the new category will feature St Gerald LCYM, Roma Melodies LCYM, St Damien LCYM, St Luke LCYM, Sekamaneng LEC, Maseru LEC and Samaria Church Choir.
The Large category will feature choirs such as Maseru City Choral, Mohapeloa Singers, Serumula Performing Arts Academy, Mafeteng Choristers, Ben Marcato, SAPS Choristers, Central University of Technology Choir and Free State Choristers.
The likes of Qeme Chorus, Maletsunyane, Gruenput Choral, Maseru Harmonic Voices, Motheo College, St Emile LCYM, Sounds of the South, Maestro Cantabile, St Gerald Serenade Youth Choir, Berea Marvelous Voices, National University of Lesotho Choir and Mofumahali oa Tlholo LCYM will participate in the Standard category.
“In each category, the choirs have an option of four songs from which to select two to compete in.
“We held a workshop for all the choirs in August where we had choral specialists who explained the requirements of the competition as well as the characteristics of each of the 12 songs and how best they could sing them,” he said.