The Churches of East and Central Africa will hold their annual choral festival in October to help raise the standard of Anglican hymnody across the region. The International Hymn Festival is set for October 26-28 at the University of Dodoma in Tanzania, and will be hosted by the diocese of Central Tanganyika.
Evangelized in the Nineteenth century by the CMS, SPG and the UMCA, East and Central African churches developed different liturgical styles that mirrored the churchmanship – evangelical, high church, Anglo-Catholic, of their first bishops. This has led to the same hymns and prayer book settings being sung to different tunes across Africa and corroded the church’s singing traditions, organizers explained.
. The festival aims at having all Anglican Church choirs sing uniform hymns, without altering the tunes, lyrics and rhythms.
IHF Technical Director Dan Madalanga told the Sunday Magazine one of the objectives of the festival is to have all Anglican Church choirs sing uniform hymns, without altering the tunes, lyrics and rhythms.
“The church was losing its traditional format of singing hymns and thereby tunes and rhythms started to change with drastic speed. This necessitated the need to come up with a common way to address and correct the situation so that we have a unified way of singing,” Madalanga, the Director of Music at Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) St Stephen’s Church in Nairobi.
Last year, the IHF festivals were held at ACK St Christine Church in Bungoma and attracted over 30 Anglican churches from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. The tenth festival is expected to be larger with choirs from Malawi and Zambia participating.
Source : Anglican