Pioneer professional opera singer, Reggie Kopi, is set to launch a talent scouting music competition with the added bonus for the participants of mentorship by music ‘professors’ in their instruments of performance.
By his account, the first professional opera singer in Botswana, Kopi says this project is an attempt at preparing young practitioners to meet the needs of a budding music industry in Botswana.
Kopi finds that earlier efforts have not been helpful to young talent because many have not met the standard entry requirements for the tertiary institutions.
“This project intends to create an opportunity for professional training for talented people who might not have the conventional academic prerequisites that the educational institutions require,” said Kopi. “It is our hope that having opened the programme up to as many people as are willing to participate, we can then provide tutoring by the professional judges to which I referred earlier. Out of this mass of entrants, who will be selected in Francistown for the north and Gaborone for the south, 10 finalists will be selected for a grand finale dinner in Gaborone.”
Kopi says that the project will be spread out over six months and the joint sponsors of the competition – his own Treble Clef and the office of the European Union ÔÇô will ensure that the selected competitors will be transported and accommodated at the centres where the competitions will be held.
“In the event that the competition coincides with the dates when the competitors might be at school, we will negotiate with the schools so that we ensure that the sponsoring partners look after the students when they participate in the competitions, which will be held on weekends,” says Kopi.
Registration will begin in Francistown on the 21st, continuing in Gaborone on the 28th. The announcement of the results will be made on the 30th of April.
Performances of the participants will also be broadcast on the television choral and classical music programme ‘Melody ya Dinoto’.
Kopi wants to make this competition an annual event “to build a pool of musicians on various instruments because the churches and the private music teachers cannot do this alone”.
He believes that the project will contribute towards building a national music industry that should be able to export musical artefacts, also supporting the musicians and the economy.