News and Events > News > UMP CHOIR SCOOPS AWARDS
31 July 2023

This choral music event, named in honour of the late Dr. Shalati Khosa, a prominent choral music composer and conductor, commenced with a gala dinner at the Malamulele Community Hall on 14 July 2023, which was hosted by the Collins Chabane Local Municipality.

Under the skilled leadership of Lonny Mokoena, a UMP alumnus hailing from Moreipuso village in Bushbuckridge, the UMP choir has risen to new heights. Lonny began his journey with the choir back in 2018, and his dedication and passion led him to become the conductor in 2022. From a humble group of less than 20 choristers, the choir has now grown to include approximately 60 talented singers. As choirmaster, Mokoena not only conducts the music but also produces some of the group's captivating performances.

Reflecting on their triumphant experience, Lonny expressed his joy for the student's accomplishments, stating, "It was a great first-time experience for the students. I want to see them happy and striving to do what they love and when their hard work finally shows."

The University played a pivotal role in supporting the choir's journey to the competition. Lonny shared his gratitude, saying, "We wish to thank the University for allowing the choir to go and showcase their talent for the first time in a competition; they supported us by providing accommodation, food, and transport while on our camp."

The UMP Choir emerged victorious in three award categories:
  • Best Dressed Choir: A testament to the UMP management's excellent choice of beautiful attire for the choir.
  • 1st Position: Own Choice Song Category: The choir's captivating performance of the song "Thuto e bohlokwa," composed and conducted by none other than Lonny Mokoena himself.
  • 2nd Position: Standard Selection Category: The choir showcased their remarkable skills with the song "Mabharule" by the esteemed Dr. S.J Khosa.

The achievement was even more remarkable considering that this was the choir's debut in a competition. Mokoena expressed his pride, stating, "We were first-timers, and we managed to win three trophies."

The road to success was not without challenges, as the students had to balance rigorous exam preparations with intense practice sessions. Mokoena noted, "We couldn't rehearse for more than a month since students were still busy with their exams. We managed to have a camp from the 10th of July to quickly prepare for the competition."

Despite the challenges, the choir's dedication and hard work prevailed, leading them to victory. Mokoena praised the choristers, saying, "I give credit to the choristers who worked hard. I'm happy for the students. This win means a lot to them and their dedication. I'm glad they had tasted triumph, after all."

The UMP choir holds a special place in the hearts of its choristers. The vibrant and harmonious atmosphere of the choir fosters a sense of family among its members. Mokoena proudly explained, "What makes the UMP Choir special is the sense of family that the choir always displays, even to new members. The main thing I love is that they are always willing to grow and improve individually and collectively."

Story by Cleopatra Makhaga. Pictures supplied.

Watch the choir’s winning performance here: