KTM Goes Liturgical

| May 20, 2015

KTM choir recently staged a splendid Christian rendition breathing life into the writings of two of the latter day great composers.

The icing on the cake for choral lovers was that the longest part of show was execution of raw Botswana talent, a sign that the industry continued to grow in leaps and bounds.

Self-taught musician and composer, Omphemetse Chimbombi, was the headline of the show as her creation took the audience into confidence on the arduous journey Jesus Christ undertook before being killed.

Aptly titled The Crucifixion path and Resurrection, the composition assumes a very sombre approach, leading one to introspect and meditate on the core principles of Christianity suffering with Christ for the sake of the world’s salvation.

So far Ms Chimbombi remains a leading light in as far as compiling thematic work into a book written in both tonic solfa and staff notation. Transcription for the accompaniment however was done by several sons of the soil among them Philemon Mataela, Puso Phetwe and renowned conductor Luka Disho.

Growth in the choral music is, inter alia, measured and realised by variables such as what Ms Chimbombi has done which move is expected to spur other music writers to go that route choral corporate approach.

Works preceding the Crucifixion Path and Resurrection have all been exotic through the writings of Prof Mzilikazi Khumalo, Wolfgang Mozart, Thanduxolo Ncqobo and several others.

Commendably, in execution of this work, KTM exhibited its strength, depth and vision through a myriad of ‘new face’ soloists who outdid themselves much to the audience’s amusement.

An upcoming bassbaritone soloist Moses Terrence featured impressively in most of the songs, and judging by his speedy growth, many will have to fold their sleeves for hardwork.

Otherwise KTM was in their usual element, shape and composure as they ably rendered the Crucifixion Path and Resurrection, which could have been so timely prior to Easter.

Things took an interesting twist when they assumed the stage, second half, to perform a Zulu mass composition by South African writer Qinisela Sibisi.

Sibisi’s compositions among others challenge a choir’s vocal ability in high notes, tonal quality especially where various voices reach a relay arrangement, colour of the voices to enhance and ably convey the message to the audience, compliance to the dramatic rhythms of various songs and more importantly blending of the soloist selected for each song.

And strictly speaking, The Mass means sacred musical composition with five chore parts of the Eucharistic liturgy commonly celebrated in the Catholic, Anglican and to some extent Lutheran church.

What composer Sibisi has done was to write afresh in his own vernacular, isiZulu, with a rhythm that is common among South African coastal choirs from Kwazulu-Natal province.

The pattern is that the Kyrie Eleison which Sibisi translated to Nkosi Sihawukele starts the arrangement with the faithful begging for mercy from their creator. Immediately enters Udumo [Latin for Gloria in Excelsis deo] which is a purely praise song for God, glorifying him in all shapes and praying that peace reign upon all his people.

The singers then delve into Ngiyakholwa [Credo] proclaiming their faith in the holy trinity, one universal church, resurrection of the dead and the might of the holy spirit living consubstantial with the father.

Uyincwele, adapted from Sanctus, is the part where choristers boast of the holiness of their Lord, proclaiming that both heaven and earth are full of his glory. This is usually the part where any choir comes to life its optimum volume gets tested in the Hosanna part which in most compositions is sung at fortissimo. The Mass, in strict terms, ends with a plea to the Lamb of God which in Zulu is Mvana ka Nkulunkulu, where praying for mercy plus abundance of peace forms the central message.

At the end of the Sunday show, one loud message was clear to choral enthusiasts KTM choir is not only brave but capable of rising to higher standards. No choir has so far hosted a show similar in execution to their Sunday performance although attendance was less than impressive to an outsider’s eye.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

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