KTM Choir and Gaborone Youth Singers (GYS) made choral music revelers eat from their lips with their melodious voices, showcasing why they are the best choirs in Botswana at the moment.
Revelers were left in awe as the two choirs clashed at the be-MOBILE National Choir Festival at Boipuso Hall in Gaborone on Saturday.
The choirs competed in the Section A category and performed ‘Praise ye the Lord’ by Letsholo Dingalo and ‘Bagaka ba rona’ by James Nkganetsang. Though there were other choirs in the category, the battle was between the two giants as they overshadowed others.
It was in the vernacular piece ‘Bagaka ba rona’ that the real battle lines were drawn with KTM being the first one to take to the stage. As they trotted into the stage with ladies clad in white ropes and blue belts and men on brown suits, it was clear that Luka Disho-led choir was ready to prove why they are the legends of choral music in Botswana.
The choir sang like a spirit possessed Pentecostal church choir as Disho swung their voices with his hands. An irresistible standing ovation was offered, as an acknowledgement of the quality of voices especially the baritone.
Many thought KTM were home and dry and have banged the vernacular piece little did they know that GYS were now coming with choral music airstrikes to stamp their authority.
The youthful Gaborone choir led by Tshepiso Marumo took the audience by storm and the facial expression of the choristers showed that they were in for the ultimate price and nothing less. If KTM choir was possessed, GYS immersed themselves in the song as they belted it out with their emotions and physical expressions.
The antics by the conductor and the response from the choir, showed that GYS had done their homework and like KTM forced the audience to stand up and applaud before they could finish their performance. In the end GYS won the battle by scooping the first position in both songs pocketed P24 000 while KTM Choir got position two in the vernacular and third in the English piece, taking home P18, 000.
In the B section Moeding Alumni Artists under the guidance of Reverend Dumi Mmualefhe and Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) Choir shared the spoils with the former winning the vernacular piece Gola BOCMA by David Segatlhe while BTU choir walked away with the English piece Lamb of God by Michael Modise.
In section C the battle was between the mainline churches being the Catholic, UCCSA, Lutheran and Methodists church choirs.
St Bernadette’s Catholic Choir and Mogoditshane UCCSA whose conductors were members of KTM Choirs came on top. St Bernadette’s won the vernacular piece ‘Ya Rona 73,’ a song dedicated to the competition sponsors be-MOBILE and was composed by Bushy Leremela.
Mogoditshane UCCSA under Kagiso Lesolebe walked away with the English piece ‘Upon this rock’ by Phillimon Mataela. In an interview after the festival, chairman of Botswana Choral Music Association Bushy Bogosing said that they were happy with the growth of the festival.
"In 2013 when we started this competition there were only 16 choirs but has since increased to 46 this year which shows that choral music is growing in the country," said the elated Bogosing.