Strathmore Chorale: The strings and threads that join us
The choirs last performance in Pretoria (Gauteng Province) before embarking on their North-West Province leg of the tour, was a Freedom Day Concert on 26th April jointly done with U.P. Ovuwa. A concert on the eve of South Africas 20th anniversary of their first democratic elections on 27th April held to celebrate that momentous occasion, where the late Nelson Mandela won back in 1994.
The sold out concert showcased South Africas diverse cultural heritage with groups from all over the vast country taking to stage, Strathmore Chorale had the honour of being first on stage opening a two and half hour joint entertainment show piece.
Come 27th April and the day would not be complete without a visit to Mandela and Desmond Tutu Soweto homes, with tourists from all over the world wanting to be at Mandela house in Soweto on the anniversary day he won the first democratic elections, Viakazi street was jam packed, movement was at snail pace with all wanting to take at least a photo with Mandela house in the background.
Done with the visit, the choir then proceeded to its third and final leg of the concert tour of South Africa in North- West Province with their first performance at Hebron town.
After a successful concert tour like this one, we would not like to sign-out without showing you a clip of one of our tour performances (at the bottom of this article) and we would also like to share with you why we sing in the Strathmore Chorale and some fascinating facts about us; our strings and threads.
Nancy Irungu ( BCOM 1st year) and Annette Irungu (BBIT class of 2013)
When I was in high school my elder sister Annette would tell me how much fun and learning they had at university and I would wonder what she was talking about, until I joined Strathmore in July 2013, became a member of the choir and nine months later Im having a time of my life! We both love singing and seeing the confidence and team work the choir taught my sister, joining the choir was a foregone conclusion when I registered for BCOM. Annette was in the choir all her four years; touring Rwanda in the process and also performing alongside the world-renowned LadySmith Black Mambazo band during the 2011 Safaricom Classical Concert. I want to make our family to be the first to ever be in chorale for 8 consecutive years concludes Nancy.
Maina Wanjau (BBIT class of 2014) and Njaramba Wanjau (BCOM class of 2014)
Looking back into the four years I have spent with my twin brother at Strathmore, I am proud of the much we have learnt not only in class but also by being members of the choir. Since our days at Brookshine School my brother has always sang bass and I sing tenor, so, as we practice our music lines at home our family gets the pleasure of hearing us and being entertained and over the years they have been our great fans. Through the choir I have learnt how to handle media interviews (choir spokesman on South Africa tour) to be patient, to be confident and above all to see the gem in every person, the concert tours have opened my horizon and also given me a chance to meet dignitaries in Rwanda and South Africa. We leave Strathmore better people, having learnt the art of dealing with people which will come in handy in the world of work says Maina
Daisy Njamiu (BTC class of 2014) and Valentine Njamiu ( BBIT class of 2011)
When I joined SU in 2010 my elder sister was in her final year of BBIT, she had an illustrious CV; she was the founding chair of the university first aid club. I had seen the transformation in her and I too wanted to be part of the universitys co-curricular, I joined the choir immediately and I have never looked back. Having sung all my four years at Pangani Girls Secondary School, singing was in my blood. I looked forward to a great experience in SU and I got more than I asked for; performing in a pitch dark auditorium with only your stage light on and the audience invisible until one hears them clap in appreciation after the first song helped build my confidence, I learnt to be a team player a skill I need as I go out to the Tourism industry with my BTC degree. I have sung at all last three graduations including my sisters, now its my turn to be sung for, I look forward to it on 27th June speaks Daisy.
Brian Makhulo (BBIT 1st year)
Starehe Boys is known not only for its academic pedigree but also for its musical talent, so, when I completed my KCSE in 2012, I wanted a similar place like Starehe and Strathmore came to mind, one year later I am living my dream. I sing bass and also the lead drummist in the choir. When I am playing the drum am accompanying the choir and I have to play second fiddle, this has taught me how to support others and also let others shine and thus made me a better team player. Playing drums for the choir recently in South Africa was an experience I will cherish for long, I long forward to a great time in the choir
Eunice Njoroge (LLB 1st year) and Marlene-Blessing Abuor ( CPA )
We may not be sisters but having sung with Marlene for four years at Precious Blood Riruta, she feels like my sister and as we start our university education in Strathmore I guess the next four years will be as fun as they were in Riruta where learning is always mixed with fun and it produces great results. For us we see the choir as a great place to develop our music talent and develop our personalities. Our perspective of the music world was made even better with the recently concluded music tour of South Africa, we had a chance to meet many professionals who have taken music seriously and perform during their free time
Elizabeth Sang (BCOM 1st year) and Gloria Wangari (BCOM 1st year)
We have been friends since childhood and now we are in the same choir, its been a great experience having each other. Apart from the teamwork needed in any choir, the choir needs one to be disciplined and focused lest you miss your lines. Having a co-curricular that teaches you the above is a great bonus. Recently in South Africa at one of the networking sessions with University of Pretoria choristers we got to learn how our age mates are balancing studies and music, it was a great class in time management.
Grace Njoroge (BCOM class of 2014) and Josephine Adoyo (BBIT 3rd year)
We both joined the choir in 2010 when I was undertaking my professional accounting classes and Grace Njoroge was just starting off her Bachelors in Commerce, over the years Grace has been a very good friend and together we have toured both Rwanda and South Africa singing next to each other. I enrolled for BBIT in 2011 and in July 2014 I will start my fourth and final year of study and also my fifth year in the choir! Over the four years we have both held leadership positions and in the process learnt to lead, learnt to be led and also taught others leadership, it feels great to have been part of such a great outfit. Just like the other sopranos we will miss Grace, we are grateful for her great voice and leadership
Tedd Murimi (BBS Actuarial Science)
As the pianist and organist of the choir, its a pleasure to accompany such great voices like the ones we have in the chorale, I also sing in the University Chapel Choir where just as in the chorale I sing tenor and play the piano. For me music is my passion, over the years I have learnt time management and precision since as a pianist one not only learns the choral lines but also the piano notes! It is a challenge but I am up to it. My South Africa tour highlight was a congratulatory message I got from some of the audience after our Queenswood concert performance where I played the organ. To get a complement in a musical country like South Africa is a big boost
We would like to share with you our joint performance with TUKS Camerata of University of Pretoria. We sang together Jambo Bwana, conducted and led by our great conductor and trainer Mr Albert Apela. To have a well trained musician with an engineering background is a plus to any choir, he brings to the choir the musical harmony of the notes with an engineering exactitude and precision, making Strathmore Chorale one of the best choirs in the region.
By Strathmore Chorale.