Gaborone Youth Singers left the audience in awe at Maitisong Theater in Maruapula this past Saturday as they rendered extracts from various famous operas and local compositions. The concert show coincided with the choir’s 21st year anniversary. The audience was treated to excellent renditions of songs such as “qual cor tradisti” from Vincenzo Bellini’s opera titled Norma, “Perte Dimmenso” by Gaetano Donizetti and extracts from Guiseppe Verdi’s opera called Ernani.
The soloists were mostly young Batswana who are members of Gaborone Youth Singers. The soloists’ capabilities shocked the crowed as their delivery could have easily passed for that of professionally trained soloists. The Music Director, Tshepiso Marumo attributes the performances of these young people to dedication and rigorous training.
The combination of piano, opera singing, chorus and theatre in the performances of Gaborone Youth Singers, demonstrated capabilities never before witnessed in a choral performance in the history of Botswana. The championships that Gaborone Youth Singers has earned, both locally and internationally, were justified at the show held this past weekened.
The second half of the show was a presentation of locally written music, which the choir executed with class. Among the music selection was Kgalemang Tumediso Motsete’s “Tsibirobi” which sent the audience on a nostalgic journey down memory lane.
To top it off Gaborone Youth Singers awarded their long standing members with tokens of appreciation for their service much to the pleasure of the large number of audience at the show. The choir also acknowledged the contributions of various people who have contributed to the existence and growth of the choir.
Gaborone Youth Singers is a non-profit organization, which has been in existence for 21 years. Over the years, the choir has had over 1000 members, consisting of young people below 30 from all over Botswana. “Some of our former members are now conductors for school choirs and church choirs,” Marumo says.
The choir has been one of the most influential choirs in the development and growth of choral music in Botswana. Gaborone Youth Singers has played an ambassadorial role for Botswana choral music through its activities, forming relationships with other choirs in Lesotho, Swaziland, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The choir’s main aim is to divert the youth’s attention from unproductive activities and empower them by instilling life skills. “Today, Gaborone Youth Singers can boast about members who have set up small enterprises with the assistance and guidance of the choir. Two such members have been able to form sound businesses in the choral music industry: one produces Melodi Ya Dinnoto, the only choral music program on Botswana Television, while the other runs a concert logistics and administration company.”