Club Highlights; The Angelic voices of Strathmore Chorale
The melodious tune of the elegant Strathmore University chorale, popularly known as SU chorale, is one to uphold. Since its inception in 1997, SU chorale has annually entertained guests at Strathmore University graduation ceremonies with their music which vary in genres and meaning. SU chorale is one of Strathmore Universitys student club activities. Loice Kerubo Nyaribo, the current chairlady of SU chorale, hopes to see growth in the team so much so that they get to perform at events outside of the university.
Loice is the second born in a family of three children and a third year Law School student at Strathmore. Her experience with SU chorale has been a gracious one; she loves to sing and her involvement with the team excites her.
Loice joined the SU chorale because it was a fairly easy process at the time. While in high school, at Precious Blood Riruta, joining the choir was a daunting task because of the difficult entry requirements. This issue caused her to stay clear of the choir for her four years tenure in high school. When she joined Strathmore in 2011, she realized that the requirements for joining were not as daunting which enabled her to join cheerfully.
I like being with the team, everyone is friendly but above that I get to do what I enjoy, singing.
Loice is grateful to be a part of a club that has boosted her confidence, not only in singing but in general. Shes happy to state that her confidence grew to the point where she could now sing in front of her parents, something she would never do before. Adding to that, she has found it easy to interact with different personalities at different levels with great courage.
SU Chorale practice sessions
For practice, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5.30 7.30pm and on Fridays from 3.00 5.00pm, the team starts off with voice training. To warm their voices, they sing songs such as the famous mama mia repeatedly in different octaves. Then they get into voice drills which involves singing; fast paced songs, slow songs or keeping pace songs, to enhance their breathing while singing. Once voice training is over, the team starts practicing the songs scheduled for the day. Most of the time they practice schick songs (written songs with notes). They run the songs on Sibelius, an app that breaks down the songs into different voices, and this enables each member to practice the song better in their own voices. Loice sings soprano.
SU Chorale Achievements
The teams major achievement was when they held three concerts last year; two lunch time concerts at the university cafeteria and one Christmas concert at the university auditorium. The Christmas concert was particularly interesting because it was the first time they were charging guests to watch their performance. This was a big achievement because in the past the team only performed during graduation or when they were invited for certain events by Strathmore Business School. Loice believes that such events motivate the team to practice more and perfect on their singing.
To crown of the year of achievements, SU chorale partnered with University of Pretoria to hold concert tours in South Africa. These tours involved the team performing in different churches and universities in South Africa, an aspect that boosted their confidence and encouraged exposure. Although the team paid for their own airfares, Strathmore University paid for all their necessities during the tour.
The money raised during the Christmas concert will be used for the next South African tour in 2016.
SU Chorale Team Challenges
One of the biggest challenges faced by the team was in structure. The team had a very informal way of doing things, an attribute that did not appease to Loice, although she enjoyed this process when joining the team. She now works on improving the structure to give it a more formal look, a system she adopted from AIESEC where she is also a member.
Another challenge the team faced before Loice became chairlady was in perfecting songs before concerts. Before we got Sibelius it was difficult for people to perfect their songs, especially when they missed practice for one reason or another. The application brought a much needed change for the team.
On managing the team
Loice states that other than putting structures in place, her biggest role is in motivating her team. She hopes to push the team as much as she can to bring out perfection. The potential in the team is great and with the help of their conductor Mr. Albert Apela, they are able to grow, which is her greatest desire.
During last years SU chorale election, Loice was voted in as the vice chairperson for the team. Barely a month after the elections, the chairperson stepped down and by default she became the chairlady. She loves being in that position, and is careful to state that she was not chosen because she is a good singer, but because people saw her vision for the team.
Mr. Apela, has been with the chorale team since 2007. He guides the team to better their voices and build confidence.
SU chorale Uniform
In a bid to encourage responsibility, the team pays for the production of their own uniform. Their latest smashing blue and black uniforms were launched right before the South Africa tour last year. The team also wears black and orange or black and white depending on the occasion.
How do interested singers join the team?
Interested singers can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They will receive a registration form and an invite for auditions. At the auditions, the interested members will be interviewed with an intention of the team leaders finding out most importantly, whether they are committed.
We are looking at getting committed members, eventually all we want as a choir is growth.
The next recruitment process begins on 26th January, 2015. Interested students should see posters or videos being aired in the screen at the student center, for details.