St. Benedict's Choir - Nairobi
We are fascinated by the power and vitality of Music
St. Benedict's Choir
Our mission is to serve God and the congregational community through the joyous gift of music. By using the musical talents God has bestowed on each of us and by working to develop those talents to the best of our abilities, we strive to lead the congregation in sung worship, to provide inspiration through concerts and special events, and to help raise the hearts and voices of all in praise and thanksgiving
We are based at St. Benedict’s Parish, a few kilometers from Nairobi City Centre within the outskirts of Mathare slum in Kenya. The Benedictine Monks came and settled in Kiambu, and while there, they worked among the poor and the needy in the Mathare slum. Their works of charity saw the birth of St. Benedict’s Parish, in 1979, and the establishment of the choir that motivated most of the slum dwellers into embracing the catholic faith. Fr. Maurus Reinlein (OSB) was the Parish Priest then and the pioneer of the Choir. He was helped by Fr. Ingbert Klinger (OSB), and together, they organized programs that supported the choir, so much so that the choir was and still is one of the most important institutions of the community in Kenya. Others who helped establish the choir include Bro. Placidus (OSB), Bro. Justin (OSB) and Fr. Peter Meinberg (OSB) who is currently doing a lot of charity work in Kenya under the Faraja Trust.
The choir sings and performs liturgical and (or) spiritual songs from various African and Western Cultures during church services every Sunday and in other feasts of obligations, as well as at ordinations, weddings, funerals, concerts and anniversaries within and outside St. Benedict’s Parish. Such music is usually accompanied by a rich ensemble of traditional percussive instruments. The choir boasts of rich African cultural genres and prowess incorporated in the choir’s daily performances and programs. Membership is open to all.
SBC Ensemble started in the 90s’ to support music appreciation and empowerment among the members of the choir. The project seeks to give underprivileged musicians from poor families in the slums of Mathare the opportunity to learn music. For these youngsters, learning music is an unattainable luxury, except for the lucky few who get support to advance their musical skills from well-wishers. Most members of the choir have had such opportunities and privileges, and out of their generosity, they have passed down the acquired knowledge to the newer generations of choir members, which has since kept the spirit of the choir high.
Through this project, we intend to establish an ensemble of instrumentalists who support the choir during mass, concerts and performances. The activities of the project include group and individual rehearsal sessions, quarterly mini-performances, monthly music workshops and special appearances in mass, concerts and musical events.
Concert & Performances
Concerts and performances are the heartbeat of the choir; an inner power that enriches its livelihood and of the members. Our calendar is always decorated with such captivating and spiritually nourishing musical events all year round. At different occasions, both locally and internationally, the choir has actively participated in musical events. We usually organize our own concerts and special events as well as participate in public festivals and private celebrations. Other of our events include but not limited to retreats/recollections, charity works, exchange programs and recordings.
Appropriate to the occasions, our selection of songs are dominantly African pieces from Sub-Saharan Africa. We mobilize songs and scores from our partner choirs, who also grace the lined up events as guest choirs. The proceeds from these events are intended for charity programs; to support the underprivileged in our locality.
SBC Music Studio
St. Benedict’s Choir has grown from strength to strength; expanding every year, with a rapporteur of the best indigenous and historical liturgical music which we seek to archive. For that very purpose, we are in high gears to establish a recording studio. With a need to professionally develop, catalogue, sort and store liturgical music as a resource for future research/use and undoubtedly for the wider popular interest, our business is to provide an audio production facility to composers/choirs/choral music producers that provides convenience in recording, archiving and cataloging choral music.
The Studio’s core mandate is to archive music with the goal of capturing a share of choral music industry by providing a professionally controlled studio ensuring the highest quality music results.
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