Lesotho Times

Maseru City Choral win African Melody Festival

MASERU — Maseru City Choral (MCC) on Sunday proved they are a cut above the rest when they lifted the Ninth African Melody Festival for the third time. MCC were crowned winners in the gold section after garnering 351 points.
Seruma Performing Arts Academy came second after securing 332 points with Mafeteng Choristers coming third with 307 points. Last year’s winners, JP Choristers, failed to make it into the top three. MCC’s conductor, Matsemela Matsemela, told the Weekender they had anticipated victory. “It was our intention to win the competition this year after we lost dismally last year,” Matsemela said. “We felt challenged to work harder when we lost two competitions earlier this year so we rehearsed until we felt victory in our systems.” He said they participated in the Choral Music Upliftment Festival in August and at the National Choir Festival in Bloemfontein in September but only managed a top five in both competitions.
“We attained third position at the Choral Music Upliftment Festival in August and we felt it wasn’t good enough,” Matsemala said. “The National Choir Festival in Bloemfontein was the toughest but we proved that we have the potential when we attained third position on the Western Piece and fifth position on the African Piece. From that competition we knew we were ready to win the AMF this year.” He added: “We are very grateful to the organising body for sourcing a panel of judges who know their music and are professional.” The gold section saw Maseru Vocal Waves withdrawing from the competition again this year. Last year the group pulled out at last the minute. Mofumahali oa tlholo won first place in the silver section with 309 points. They beat Mankoaneng LEC into second position with 286.67 points with St Luke coming third with 273 points. Sekamaneng won first position in the bronze section with 273.33 points beating Butha-Buthe LEC into second place with 262 points. Mathebe LEC came third with 251.67 points. The festival was sponsored by Standard Lesotho Bank to the tune of M80 000. The winners in the gold section walked away M6 000 richer, while the second placed group received M5 000 while third position winners received M4 500. The winners in the silver category walked home M5 000 richer while the second placed winners walked away with M4 000 while third position winners pocketed M3 500. The winner in the bronze section received M4 000, with the second-placed winners getting M3 000 while the third placed winners received M2 500. Speaking on behalf of the judges, Themba Madlopha said the standard of Lesotho’s choral music was quite high. “The standard is electrifying and all I can say is Gauteng should look out. We were exposed to a high voltage experience with a few elements that need to be taken into consideration to perfect the art of music,” Madlopha said. “Music has a musical triangle which comprises of the composer, the choir and the audience and we expect choirs to transact all emotions of a music composition.”

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