Strathmore song birds shine at the world choir games
The World choir games is a global festival and competition that is held biennially (every even year). This year marked the tenth festival which was held in July 2018 in Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa. The Strathmore Chorale got a chance to showcase their vocal talents on an international platform alongside 351 other choirs.
The games, formerly known as the Choir Olympics, was conceptualised by Günter Titsch, the founder of the Interkultur Foundation that organises numerous international choral competitions. The main aim of the foundation is to establish an international music festival that would create “bridges of encounters”.
“We engaged ourselves a lot in meeting other people, getting to know their cultures and even exchanging ideas.” These statements from Raphael Kamau Ng’ang’a, a tenor in the Strathmore Chorale serve as a testimony of the unifying power of the games. The first games were held in Austria at the onset of the new millennium. Gradual growth in popularity has led to an increase in the number of participating choirs leading to a number of structural adjustments made to the games; by increasing the number of categories at the games to accommodate more choirs. One significant category included university choirs. This evolution has allowed the games to move closer to achieving its objective of successfully bringing more people together in the name of choral music, regardless of national allegiances, cultural practices or world views. Their driving philosophy of peace, unity and harmony has seen Interkultur organise up to fourteen international choir competitions and festivals annually in different parts of the globe.
According to Raphael, a first time traveller out of Kenya says it was an eye opening experience. “We sang, of course, that’s what took us there. It was an amazing experience for us, getting the world to see what we had was amazing.”
The performance on the international stage saw the Strathmore Chorale achieve two accolades. “We managed to scoop two silver diplomas and we also managed to qualify for the Championships.”
South Africa was definitely a new experience that the members of Strathmore Chorale will remember fondly, but the bond they have managed to solidify between themselves is what keeps them going.
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