|Tanokrom Philharmonic Choir was at the weekend adjudged winner of the Brong-Ahafo Regional competition of Africa Choral Festival 2012 held at Wesley Cathedral of the Methodist Church in Sunyani.
The event was organized by Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and supported by Ghana Progressive Hotels Association, Sunyani-based Life FM radio station, Damour Travel and Tours, Adwinsah Hotel at Nsoatre.
Under the theme, “Celebrating Culture through choral music”, the festival was the first of its kind in Africa and was aimed at boosting tourism in Ghana. Only three out of the 21 choral groups expected to compete turned up. Philharmonic choir bagged 275 points to shrug off stiff opposition from Adehyemma Choral group of Christ the King Cathedral in Sunyani, which had 252 points and Odumase Presbyterian district Choir with 212 points.
As its prize, Philharmonic took home GHC1000.00 cash and will represent the Region at the national competition to be held in Accra in March, this year. Led by inspirational conductor, Barima Asumadu Sakyi, formerly with Winneba Youth Choir, Philharmonic impressed the judges, invited guests as well as the audience with their sweet melodies that included ‘Kiss this Day' by Newlove Annan, ‘Yaanom Abibiman' by Dr. Ephraim Amu and ‘Amma mmre pa' by Barima Asumadu Sakyi, backed by a matchless stage performance.
The choral group was formed and christened Tanokrom Singers in 1985 under the hand of Mr Ansu Badu at the Sunyani Centre for National Culture and in 1991, it assumed its current name and conductor.
It has chalked both national and local successes, which included best performers at the 1997 and 2011 National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC). Mr. Richard Obeng, Brong-Ahafo Regional director of Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), said the objectives of the programme were to bring Choirs from Africa and the rest of the world together to perform in the spirit of friendship, collaboration and to learn from each other.
“The festival is aimed at developing and propagating Africa's rich choral music on international platforms in major centres of the World such as Verona in Italy, Chareston in South Carolina in the United States of America (USA), Havana in Cuba, Salzburg in Austria and Barcelona in Spain to promote tourism and culture exchange.
Nana Frimpong Ware 111, chief of Ampeyo in the Volta Region and deputy director of the Center for National Culture in Sunyani who presided, was enthralled with the “wonderful display of performance and the keenly-contested competition” and urged the choirs to “keep it up”.
He entreated all and sundry to cultivate the habit of singing to praise the Lord where ever they found themselves. Barima Asumadu Sakyi thanked God for the success of the event and congratulated the other participants for their zeal and commitment..