Formerly known as “the bedroom choir” amongst the choral community, Sedibeng Choral Society, had a successful run at Maitisong last week Saturday when they performed Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria, being the first choir in the country to perform a complete work of a classical composer.
Gloria in D is a sacred work by a baroque composer, Antonio Lucio Vivaldi that contains opening phrases that have origins in the song of angels found in the New Testament’s account of Jesus Christ’s nativity.
Vivaldi’s setting is four part chorus and orchestra with three soloists, two sopranos and one alto, however, habitually performed with only two soloists. It is divided into twelve contrasted movements each characterized by its own mood and musical texture, yet still managing to preserve a sense of formal coherence.
The vibrant and youthful assembly of 40 members from Gaborone and its surrounding areas are not new to the performance of classical music ÔÇô they have performed renditions of Wolfgang Morzart and Luigi Denza.
At a time when classical music is considered to be elitist, the youthful Sedibeng Choir showcased an unforgettable first set of the concert that showed off solo acts by Ralph Dennison in a duet with Lemogang Rabashwa, performing Ciribiribin and Gaone Ditsheko, performing La Donna e mobile.
Tshenolo Segokgo also gave an exquisite solo act of So rapid thy course, followed be a threesome act by Lenny Magowe, Gaone Ditsheko and Ralph Dennison staging If you go in, an arrangement by Gilbert and Sullivan.
The soloist session was concluded by a duo performance by Tshenolo Segokgo and Oteng Zachariah singing Time to say goodbye which is a composition by Lucio Quaratotto.
The founder and conductor of the choir Andy Batshogile took charge of the second session of the auspicious evening by leading his choir through the performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria.
The choir truly gave tribute to Vivaldi’s work as they went through his work that arrayed from Gloria in excelsis deo to Et in terra pax hominibus, not forgetting the exuberant soprano duet by Tshenolo Segokgo and Palesa Bogopa singing Laudamus ti.
The pair took turns marveling the crowd, by imitating each other, only to later join almost teasingly and sing together with an extensive use of synchronism that led the audience through an air of charming inevitability.
Thato Marubana spectacularly sang alto during her performance of Domine dues, Agnus dei, whilst the choir accompanied her, showcasing Vivaldi’s genius in the use of contrasting forces, which were punctuated by choral interjection from the choir and the two pianists, Olga Merker and David Slater.
The choir sang through Cum Santo Spiritu very well and in no other way we could ever have heard it. Conversantly, this particular piece is borrowed from the music from a Gloria by Giovanni Maria Ruggieri.
In their final session, the choral group undertook to sing a set of 15 traditional setswana musicals ÔÇô saying “We feel that in as much as football has propelled an enormous amount of patriotism, singing local cultural music fuels their patriotism.”
In showing off their talent and enthusiasm for music of different genre, Sedibeng commanded the attention of the audience by performing traditional and popular tswana songs like Tsakunata, Dikeledi and Re ba utlwile.
As if the crowd had not yet got their money’s worth, the young choral group kept amusing the audience by singing folk childhood songs like Black mampatile and Bo mme bakati.
The young zealous singers added a twist when singing Tshegofatso, by including a traditional dance piece to the act.
The choir’s aims to give rudimentary training in music theory to their choristers. The selected musician will sit for exam with UNISA, each singer will start with grade 1 and, depending on individual effort, will continue to augment to higher grades.
The group has had the opportunity to perform in prestigious events – appearing alongside the Johannesburg Orchestra and Sibongile Khumalo at this year’s Maitisong Festival.
They have performed at the Three Tswana Tenors debut concert and corporate event hosted by HATAB and the Department of Tourism.