Universities enthral the audience during schools’ national music festival 

Kisii University Choir at the second edition of the Kenya Universities Performing Arts National Music Festival

Kisii University Choir at the second edition of the Kenya Universities Performing Arts National Music Festival at Maasai Mara University on March 12, 2023.

Photo credit: Anthony Njagi | Nation Media Group

Egerton university choir thrilled the audience with Mukangala, an arrangement of Jacob Luseno’s hit song, during the Kenya National Music Festival staged at Maasai Mara University.  

Arranged by Mr Humphrey Kisia, the piece is about a servant who works for Roselinda but misrepresents himself performers and singers were Lisa Omukala, Mercy Moraa, Lorna Kanana, Wilmer Nelima, Margaret Ouya, Daniel Kiptoo, Tony Ambula, Ian Ngugi, Martin Mwai and Steve Biko.

Egerton University also presented a song about African patriotism and values, a Luhya songs medley, and Uwe Nami Bwana—a song by Solomon Mkubwa.

Karatina University presented a splendid rendition of the sacred song, Hallelujah, by Beethoven. They also presented the national and East African anthems. The students were led and conducted by Mr John Alphonce Mutua, vice chairperson of the Kenya Universities Performing Arts and Film Association (Kupaa).

Mr Fred Ndambuki, representing the Principal Secretary for Higher Education and Research, said the standards of items presented during the six-day event were high.

Others present at the event included the Maasai Mara University Vice Chancellor Joseph Sarima Chacha, Higher Education head of Music and Drama in the Ministry of Education, Eunice Wakafula, and the event’s National Chairman, David Temba.

Commenting on the performances of the Kenyan and East African anthems, Kupaa Secretary General Caleb Nyangwono said the students in universities need to learn about patriotism. 

“Even in job interviews, some people have been caught off guard when asked to sing the national anthem,” said Mr Nyangwono.
Kabarak University, Maseno University, Technical University of Mombasa, Bomet University, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Maasai Mara University, Technical University of Mombasa Meru University, Jaramogi Oginga Oginga University of Science and Technology and Great Lakes University of Kisumu also had standout performances.

Kabarak University thrilled the audience when they rendered the Kenyan national anthem accompanied by the brass band under the directorship of Prof Fredrick Ngala, who also doubles as the dean at the school of education, humanities and social sciences, assisted by Mr Fred Wekesa, a lecturer in the school of music and media.

The event’s chairman said the class was created to encourage citizens to remain patriotic and live by the values of nationhood.
Andrew Tumbo, a music and dance adjudicator, enthralled the audience with a performance from the opera L’Elisir d’amore by Gaetano Donizetti. Mr Tumbo is based at the M-Pesa Foundation Academy as the Choir Director and Musical Production Creative director. 

He will be adjudicating solos from the operatic class and hopes to inspire the students participating in the class to take up this style of singing.

At the Kupaa Festival, students are encouraged to explore their talent in this old art of singing, exposing them to opportunities of talent scouts as well as encouraging them to think globally and aim at singing in major opera houses. This could also be an avenue for the students to monetise their talent. 

Key categories of performance include choral music, instrumental music, contemporary dances, brass and pop bands, solos and ensembles.

Other subcategories include Djeeying, Karaoke, rap music, Acapella, pre-recorded music, film (music video) and infomercial music (advertising music/signature tunes).


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