Malone University welcomes Kenyan choir Taifa Mziki on February 26
February 18, 2014 | Release # 6846
College of Theology, Arts, and Sciences – Department of Music.
Malone University will welcome Dr. Wilson Shitandi and the acclaimed Kenyan choir Taifa Mziki on Wednesday, February 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Johnson Center for Worship and the Fine Arts, located on the campus at 2600 Cleveland Avenue N.W. in Canton, Ohio. In addition, Dr. Shitandi will address "Music as an Agent of Social Change." The program is free and open to the public.
Taifa Mziki is a men's a capella choral group from Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya. The student-led 18-member Taifa Mziki is widely recognized for its performances of a diverse variety of music, from folk songs to African pop music to classical pieces arranged for male voices.
Taifa Mziki was founded in 2010 by Collins Murambi and Sylvester Makobi, who also serves as the group's director. The name of the group means, "music which brings people together to make one nation."
Taifa Mziki aims to be an ambassador of African music. The group's repertoire is mainly African pop music and folk songs arranged for male voices.
In 2012, Taifa Mziki participated in the first televised choir competition in East Africa, The Kwaya, and thrilled fans due to their wonderful and creative performances. In 2011 the group was invited to perform during the premier of the International Student Film Festival held in Nairobi, Kenya. The group frequently performs at various corporate and state functions and public concerts. Taifa Mziki members are involved in a choral music mentorship program in high schools in the country. Through this program, the group encourages young people to join or form choirs. The performances and workshops also create a platform for the group to focus on their social message of peace and conflict resolution. The members of the group come from different ethnic communities and use the diversity as an opportunity to learn songs from different languages.
As a core part of Tunaweza Kimuziki, a collaborative project of U.S. and Kenyan musicians who seek to promote music education in Kenya, this group presented a series of performances and workshops at primary schools, colleges, and professional academies in Nairobi.
Taifa Mziki participated in the Tunaweza Kimuziki project, and the team decided to invite the group to lead the cultural exchange stateside. Beyond its artistic endeavors, Taifa Mziki also cultivates an active community engagement philosophy and mission, specifically focusing on inter-tribal harmony and conflict resolution. As part of their residency, Dr. Shitandi has been invited to present lectures on the role of music as an agent of social change.
Dr. Wilson Shitandi is a lecturer at Kenyatta University in the Department of Music and Dance, where he teaches courses in ethnomusicology and African music, including dance, traditional instrumental music, and vocal music. Dr. Shitandi has earned an international reputation as an expert in classical drumming and Kenyan vocal music. He is an active choral conductor and is a strong advocate of community-based music making as a vehicle for social change in and around Nairobi. To that end, he has initiated weekly music therapy programs at Boma Rescue Centre (BRC) for children who live in the wasteland trash dump in Nairobi.
Dr. Shitandi has published in book chapters and peer reviewed journals with research interest in the areas of African music, ethnomusicology, musicology, hymnology, and choral music. He also sings, composes, and arranges African indigenous and national songs, and Euro-American classical music. Among his choral compositions are ten masses for mixed chorus in Kiswahili and English. He is the director of St. Cecilia Holy Cross Choir in Nairobi, on the boards of MUZIKI for Africa and of the Utafiti Foundation, and a member of Tunaweza Kimuziki Team. He is also a member of the Pan African Musical Arts Education, the International Council of Traditional Music, Historische Töneträger Gesellschaft, the Nairobi Choral Music Society, and is a former DAAD scholar with research studies at the universities of Mainz and Hildesheim in Germany.
Malone University, a Christian university for the arts, sciences, and professions in the liberal arts tradition, affiliated with the Evangelical Friends Church, awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 100 academic programs. Malone has been recognized by the prestigious Templeton Foundation as a leader in character development, as one of Northeast Ohio’s Top Workplaces by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and is ranked among the top colleges and universities in the Midwest under the category Regional Universities according to U.S.News & World Report's America's Best Colleges 2014,has been awarded the designation Military Friendly School by Victory Media, and is named to AffordableCollegesOnline (ACO)’s Best Lifetime Return on Investment list for the State of Ohio.
Suzanne Thomas, APR
Director of University Relations
2600 Cleveland Avenue N.W., Canton, OH, 44709
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