Accra Ghana Ofankor Stake Music Festival

Accra Ghana Ofankor Stake Music Festival

A Stake Music Festival was held on July 1, 2016 by the Ofankor Stake. Six ward choirs, and one choir consisting of members throughout the stake, performed with enthusiasm and joy.  The groups varied in size with some having as many 30 singers while others numbered 10 and 12.  Some of the choirs included children, giving their music a particularly sweet sound.   A variety of repertoire was shared, including several favorite hymns and lively folk songs. 

The evening opened with a performance by the special stake choir.  Their well-prepared rendition of ‘O Ye Mountains High’ set the mood for the inspiring performances to come.  Following this, each of the choirs, in turn, entered from the back of the hall, serenading their way through the middle aisle to take their places in front to sing.  Each ward was asked to sing the hymns “Awake Ye Saints” and “Come All Ye Saints” as well as two or three additional pieces of their own choosing.  

The first choir, from the Achimota Ward, made a lovely entrance and their best sound came in the soft and low passages where the men’s section had a particularly good blend.   The Chantang Ward started their set with a vibrant folk song that quickly charmed the audience.  The Kwabenya Ward entered enthusiastically singing to a march, and included beautiful duet and trio passages in some of their numbers.  The Amasamang Ward had a very good sound and blend in their performance, and demonstrated their dedicated preparation by following their conductor with precision and unity.  The fifth group set of songs came from the Nsawam Ward with the smallest number of singers, which included children, youth and adults, sang with hearts full of enthusiasm.   Their joy in the music was contagious to all in attendance.  Though unable to present an entire set of songs as the other wards did, the Ofankor Ward cheerfully sang the one number they had prepared.

Highlights between the choral groups came when Mary Benson Richards, an accomplished flutist, and her accompanist on the keyboard, Thomas Spackman, favored us with renditions of ‘Beautiful Saviour’ and ‘Amazing Grace’.  The evening was brought to a close with a final performance of the well- loved Ghanaian song “Woyaya” (We Are Going) by the stake choir overlaid with a beautiful descant by Mary and her flute. 

The unsung hero of the event was the skilled accompanist, Victor Acheampong, who shared his excellent talent and time rehearsing and performing with each of the choirs.  The festival could not have taken place without him.

The organizer of the event, President George Thompson, oversaw the evening with skill, and his love of choral music was evident in the impressive outcome of his efforts.  Hopefully, there will be more events of this kind in the future for all to enjoy.