Greater Freeport Community Chorus "Missa Kenya and Songs Inspired by Africa"
Greater Freeport Community Chorus to perform music inspired by Africa
The Greater Freeport Community Chorus will present “Missa Kenya and Songs Inspired by Africa” May 4 and 5 in Brunswick and Yarmouth. The 75-voice chorus will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4, at the Brunswick United Methodist Church, 320 Church Road, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 5, at Sacred Heart Church, 326 Main St., Yarmouth. The group is directed by Virgil Bozeman IV and accompanied by pianist Kellie Moody. The concert’s centerpiece will be the five-movement “Missa Kenya,” a setting of Mass texts. American composer Paul Basler wrote the piece after a sabbatical at a Nairobi, Kenya, university. He writes in the forward to the composition that it fuses Kenyan musical styles with 20th century American classical styles. He calls it his “gift to the warm, loving friends I left behind in Nairobi.” “N’kosi Sikelel’ i Afrika,” or “Lord Bless Africa,” is or has been a national anthem of several African countries. This arrangement was performed by singer-songwriter Paul Simon and others at a 1987 concert in Zimbabwe. “Famine Song,” written by the American vocal quartet VIDA, expresses the emotions of Africans who experienced the famine of the 1980s. It tells of Sudanese women who wove baskets as a way to survive. The concert will also include composer Peter Louis van Dijk’s “Horizons,” written for The King’s Singers’ 1995 South African tour, plus “Rain, Rain, Beautiful Rain,” by Joseph Shabalala, founder of the South African choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Three guest musicians will join the chorus: Annegret Baier and Shirsten Lundblad, percussion, and Caitlin Ramsey, French horn. Residents of 15 Midcoast towns make up the Greater Freeport Community Chorus. Concert admission is $10 for adults, free to anyone under 18. Tickets may be purchased at the door. Visit the chorus on Facebook or at www.gfccsings.org for more information.