Choirs of the Ghana Wesley United Methodist Church (GWUMC) of Woodbridge, and Alfred Street Baptist Church Trinity Choir (ASBCTC) of Alexandria, both respectively in Virginia, United States (US), treated music enthusiasts and members of the public to beautiful choral performances on March 3, 2018 at the Saint Paul Methodist United Church in Woodbridge, Virginia.
Dubbed the ‘Choral Extravaganza For Ghana’s 61st Independence Anniversary‘, the event attracted people from all over the Northern Virginia area when it began from 7pm to 8:30pm Eastern Standard Time. Music Director and organist of GWUMC Ebenezer Allotey, who is also the founder of the acclaimed Tema Youth Choir of Ghana, led his choir that night to a moving rendition of ‘Yen Ara Asaase Ni’, the unofficial national anthem of Ghana sang in the Twi dialect.
Conductor and Music Director of ASBCTC Dr. Mrs. Joyce Garrett and her choir also treated the excited audience to numbers like ‘Done Made My Vow’ and ‘I’m Determined To Walk With Jesus’ among other spiritual medleys. It was significant to note that the choir robes of ASBCTC were decked with stripes of the Kente fabric, adding color to the night’s event.
Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States His Excellency Dr. Barfour Adjei-Barwuah was represented by Mr. Eric Boateng, Head of Chancery at the Embassy of Ghana in Washington DC as the Guest of Honor. Mr. Boateng who was moved by performances of both choirs was occasionally seen joining the audience in bopping his head and singing along especially to songs he knew the words to.
According to Mr. Allottey, GWUMC choir members decided to wear the same fabric fashioned in traditional Ghanaian style “so as to be at one with the spirit of the occasion to celebrate Ghana’s attainment of independence from British colonial rule which happened March 6, 1957 under the leadership of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana, and all who joined him in the fight for freedom”
“We sang mostly patriotic songs from Ghana because we felt it was the best way to honor the spirits of all the lives lost during the independence struggle and to encourage the efforts of all who continue to fight to date for a better Ghana. We are really thankful to the head pastor of Alfred Street Baptist Church Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley for letting his choir participate in this event, they have always supported us over the years and we feel we are one with them now“, continued Mr. Allotey.
The audience composed of members of both churches and the curious visitors was treated to a tour of Ghana’s 10 regions by the children’s ministry of GWUMC as a way of enlightening them about the history behind the respective regions of Ghana, and to encourage visits to Ghana especially by Africans living in the Diaspora.
Some other special guests in attendance included Reverends Emmanuel Nkrumah and John Obeng respectively of GWUMC. The inclusion of the Brass Quartet during the US and Ghana National Anthems ended the concert in a very spectacular way.
African Post Newspaper, and the communication consultancy firm, TheAfricanDream.co were media sponsors of the event. For more information on GWUMC and ASBCTC visit their websites at www.ghanawesleyumc.org and www.alfredstreet.org and enjoy this video below of both choirs in performance.
Written by Oral Ofori