Up-and-coming accapella gospel outfit Stand launched its second album on Saturday evening at the Glad Tidings Hall in Harare.The group, which belongs to Borrowdale Seventh-Day Adventist Church, launched its album titled "The Redeemed" at an accapella concert that attracted more than 500 young Christians from different church denominations.
According to concert organisers, the group sold all the 500 copies of their CD album that were on sale, an indication of how much the group's music is enjoyed by its legion of fans in Zimbabwe.
Other groups that performed at the CD launch included Firm Faith and a Zambia-based Fountain Gates.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, concert co-ordinator and manager of Stand, Tsungai Machokoto said the CD launch and concert were aimed at exposing her group to its fans in Zimbabwe.
"We organised the CD launch and concert in order to show our group to the world and to show people what they are about. People have heard about Stand before but this is their concert to show people what they do.
"Stand is a bunch of passionate young Christians who love to sing for the Lord. This CD launch gives them a platform to exhibit their vocal talents" said Machokoto.
She also added that the CD launch and concert were aimed at promoting accapella gospel music in Zimbabwe.
"Accapella music has always been part of us but most people are used to music with instruments. It's just amazing to see people making music with their voices and I think people love to hear that," said Machokoto.
Turning to music piracy, Tsungai implored music consumers in Zimbabwe to shun pirated music saying this practice kills talent and makes it difficult for local artistes to receive international recognition since in most cases such recognition is based on album sales.
Fountain Gates, which also performed at the concert, gave the Zimbabwean crowd a good feel of Zambian accapella gospel music with songs such as "Pindo Kulume (Calling Upon the Spirit)", "Amfwile (He Died)" and "Balantangilila (He Leadeth Me)".
Manager of the group Mr Lameck Mwanza said his group had visited Zimbabwe to showcase their music to the Zimbabwean people.
"To Zimbabwe we are bringing our songs so that Zimbabwe gets a feel of our music. Most of the people know about our group through other people but seeing us perform makes a big difference," said Lameck.
He described Zimbabwe as a great country and that Zimbabwe was like a second home to members of his group.
Another accapella group, Firm Faith - which also performed at the concert - gave a good account of themselves by performing songs from their previous albums and a few others from their upcoming album which is still to be named.
Among songs performed by Firm Faith were "He is Worthy", "Chitima Chasimuka" and "Wanyanya".
As Firm Faith performed on stage, it was interesting to see how the group spiced up its performance with new additions to the accapella sound which included gumboot dancing and beat boxing which added an element of creativity to their show.
The gumboot dance was performed by some young male dancers who were dressed in overalls, gumboots and helmets and as they danced to the accapella song "Chitima Chasimuka", their dance moves depicted a moving passenger train which symbolised the Holy Spirit. Firm Faith manager Mr Bradley Mberi said his group was introducing beat boxing and gumboot dancing as a special art form which they combined with conventional accapella music.
"As Firm Faith we are launching a collaboration of accapella, beat boxing and gumboot dancing. We understand it's a special art and we are incorporating it into accappela music.
"What happens with beat boxing is we sing the national anthem in accapella beat boxing sound without any words" said Bradley.