Sunday, 18 July 2010

Mozart in Africa

Was feeling rather tired and low this afternoon. Having to give up our trip to the UK, coping with two lively children through a church service with no sunday school or creche for the nth week in a row, the Mancub, unusually, crying for an hour instead of falling asleep for his nap (we gave up in the end). Maybe they all contributed.

Anyway, decided to go ahead as planned and take Kitty to a concert by the students of the Music Dept of Makumira University College. Very glad we went. According to their website, the aim of the 3-year B.A. in Music "is to train music teachers that can build up and preserve the African music heritage in schools and communities and to train church musicians that can raise the standard of music in the Tanzanian church, using both African and Western musical traditions." This concert was part of their performance practice.

So, we started with a traditional gathering call on the drums... all 22 of them. Powerful and exhilerating stuff! We moved through Spanish and Italian guitar pieces, Purcell's Trumpet Tune and a trio for Piano, Violin and Cello to "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley, arranged for Violin and Guitars, a jazzy version of the famous "My favourite things", also on guitar, and some full choral pieces including an Argentinian song and African-American gospel. On the way we enjoyed some traditional dances from various parts of Tanzania and a Finnish folk dance performed by the children of the University Staff (guided by a Finnish volunteer!) Perhaps the most novel were the song "Panis Angelicus, by C. Franck, sung by a lady in full traditional costume - beaded head-dress and all, and a quintet from Mozart's Opera "Cosi fan Tutte", where the suspicious young men were pretending to depart for war (complete with Masaai spears and shields) in order to test the faithfulness of their beloveds.

Definitely something to lift the spirits!


  1. Wow, that sounds amazing. I wish I'd been there.

  2. I am so sorry you are not getting to spend time with family and friends. But the concert sounded amazing.
    In my prayers Always