The Arusha Times

Issue 00512

April 5-11, 2008

issn 0856 - 9135 

Local News

Loruvani choir warms up for Germany tour

By Valentine Marc Nkwame

The ‘Kwaya ya Uinjilisti’ choir of Loruvani Lutheran parish in Ilboru has been invited to go on a special tour of Germany, a trip scheduled for late this month.

The traditional singing group now about 40 years old, is described as one of Arusha’s most accomplished choirs whose members sing ‘naturally!’

Choir master Hezron Abel said 18 members of the choir were getting ready to leave for Germany and this is going to be a follow-up tour from a visit which he made last year to various parts of Germany.

The choir master himself is a student, currently studying music at the Makumira University College located at Usa-River. The Lutheran church-owned campus is a division of the countrywide Tumaini University chain.

The Loruvani choir performs ancient sacred music, as well as a traditional Maasai repertoire and a large number of original contemporary pieces all being contributions from the choir’s own members.

Before leaving for Germany, the ‘Kwaya ya Uinjilisti Loruvani’ will feature as the major part of the program of the ‘Evening of sacred music,’ at the Arusha Community Church on Friday, 11th April as from 6:30pm, when they plan to perform before the local public in Arusha.

According to event organizers, it is going to be ‘free admission’ events where people may get the opportunity to ‘encourage’ the departing choir through pledging contributions to cover the costs for obtaining their passports. Their German friends have on the other hand, promised to cover their airfares and travel costs around Germany.

The choir’s technical skills have reportedly amazed all who have heard them perform, including international musicians as well as local admirers. Dr. Randy Stubbs, professor of music at Tumaini University at Makumira says, “I will be sure not to miss their upcoming performance at ACC before they travel to Germany.”

“Kwaya ya Uinjilisti Loruvani” is made up of members of local Christian community in Ilboru area of Arumeru and based at the Ilboru diocese of Arusha where coincidentally is where the first church was established about 110 years ago.

The choir consists of 10 female and 11 male singers, a colorful mixture of housewives, workers and students, united in their common love for music. Their repertoire is made up of traditional African Songs, mainly from the Maasai culture.

Not surprising because almost all members belong to the Maasai community. The choir sings in the Sunday masses every week. However they do perform in masses and concerts or by being invited in other parishes both within Arusha region and beyond.

Competition with about 800 other choirs in regional choir competitions in the past 15 years the Kwaya ya Uinjilisti Loruvani has been winning diocesan music competitions in the categories of traditional performance and A-cappella singing (without backing instruments).

During the last choir match which was held at Kijenge in October 2007 the ‘Kwaya ya Uinjilisti Loruvani’ group emerged the top in A-cappella singing category and won both a trophy and some cash for that.

The choir has been around since 1969 but it wasn’t until 1992 when the choir changed its orientation and started to perform mainly self-written songs. Since that time, the choir turned down the use of instrumental accompaniment and only uses drums and other traditional percussion instruments.



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