Though we have a history of church and community choirs,” Reggie Kopi told The Sunday Standard on Friday, “choral music has not found its rightful place in Batswana’s hearts yet.”
Kopi says he looked at the hugely popular music forms in Botswana and found that the jazz scene in particular is very popular and envisioned a way of popularizing choral by fusing it with jazz.
Kopi introduces the Botswana Chorus, a group of 16 singers who give a proper representation of a four part Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass (SATB). “Amongst them are the best singers in the country; we have such immense talent in the country,” said Kopi.
Accompanied by the Gavin Bantom Ensemble, a jazz ensemble, Botswana Chorus will release their album at Matlwaneng on Thursday December 6.
Guest musicians at the launch will be bassist Citie Seetso, whom Kopi cites as a quality musician and Shanti Lo, a jazz vocalist.
“We will be sticking to choral texture, covering old folk songs that can appeal to the young and old,” Kopi said. And it seems to work, he says, people respond favourably to the project and encourage them. With this endeavour he is certain choral music will grow in popularity.
“I will be singing for the first time in three years at the debut concert. We have a soloist, Katherine Gowan, an exchange student from Florida, USA, studying at the University of Botswana and she does a beautiful solo on Thaba Tshweu,” Kopi said.
He also counted Gladys Ngwebula, Janet Ndubo and Lapologang and Keikantse Seetso who are Citie’s sisters.
Setlogolo Ntsha Ditlhogo, says Kopi, is a song with vocal drama that is always a winner with audiences.
“First and foremost Botswana Chorus is a company that will employ singers such as what Joyous Celebration does. A majority of our singers are employed, and we see an avenue of selling Botswana through choral fused with jazz.”