Local diverse choir, the Collective Singers, is hosting shows to raise N$1 million to take part in World Choral Expo, slated for 3 to 7 September 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal.
The World Choral Expo is hosted by the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM), and aims to provide an opportunity for choral singers, choral professionals, conductors, composers and music educators to interact and learn from world-renowned choirs and their conductors.
The 50-member Collective Singers group is the only choir from the continent selected to participate in the competition, and will contend against 11 other choirs from the world.
“We need approximately N$1 million to get the whole group to Portugal and back. The IFCM is covering the cost of accommodation, meals and transport in Lisbon; we just need to get there. Therefore, the funds that we are raising are meant to cover mainly flight tickets, visas and attire,” shared Ponti Dikuua, the founder of the chorale.
“Not only will we be representing our beautiful Namibia at the third World Choral Expo, but the African continent at large,” he added.
The group received an invitation to participate in the expo from the IFCM in July 2021. There was no application process; they received the invitation based on their material the IFCM had seen on YouTube.
“This is a great opportunity for us to showcase and promote our beautiful country; putting Namibia on the map with the global choral community is our first prize. The expectation from the IFCM is that we will perform mainly Namibian music – and in doing so, introduce the delegates to Namibia in song and dance,” said Dikuua.
He added: “Being able to educate the delegates and audiences at the expo on the Namibian culture is our main aim. This is also an amazing networking opportunity for the choir, and we aim to broaden our network for the Namibian choral industry overall”.
Baritone Roberts Katangolo said choral music can bring people from different cultural backgrounds together, and he is eager to showcase how diverse Namibia is and how to embrace diversity in Lisbon.
“I can’t wait to go show the world the African rhythm and the heartbeat of the continent through choral music. I am looking forward to learning from other choristers as well as experiencing their cultures. I love this feeling; a feeling of collectiveness,” said the excited Katangolo.
His choirmate, Florentia Muheua, feels honoured and blessed to be part of the only Namibian choir that is selected to represent the country at the choral expo.
“With this comes a lot of pressure because we need to give our very best as we are showcasing what African and Namibian choirs sound like, but I am very excited to go show off our diverse cultural songs and attire,” said the alto.
Several fundraising activities are planned for the next few months, leading up to September, and include a collaborative concert with Golden Tak at Bethel Church, as well as concerts with the school choirs of the Windhoek Gymnasium and Windhoek Afrikaanse private schools.
Dikuua said they will have a raffle ticket drive, a GoGet funding account for international supporters, church visits, corporate gigs and other concerts.
Collective Singers was founded in 2015 – and from having only nine members, it now boasts 50.
“The singers hail from various well-known Namibian choirs. The Collective performs various genres of music, including gospel, contemporary, classical and Namibian traditional music. We believe in our local Namibian composers and support them by making their music an integral part of our song selections. The members of the group are both talented and experienced,” said Dikuua.