COME LET US SING
During this season of coronavirus pandemic and quarantine, music continues to be an amazing joy.
PHOTO: James Varrick Armaah is the Founder and Executive Director of Harmonious Chorale Ghana.
by Patrick D. McCoy
Even in the midst of troubling times, especially during the current pandemic, music remains a constant companion. Recently, my friend James Parrish Smith, an accomplished organist and Dillard University alumnus living in San Francisco posted a beautiful video clip of a choir singing a majestic anthem. I discovered this particular video like many during my boredom of being quarantined during the ‘Stay At Home’ order which has totally disrupted our regular lives as we know it.
The video was of an ensemble singing a jubilant anthem called “Come Let Us Sing.” When I first listened to it, I assumed that the contrapuntal style was of perhaps Handelian flair. From the entrance of the alto soloist Dorcas Naana Ockan, followed by the tenor Justice Lomo, the bar was set for the fine singing to follow. The singers lifted their voices to the festive organ accompaniment provided by the composer. Listening to this singing of such beauty and clarity, my curiosity was piqued and I had to find out more about the anthem.
Emmanuel Osae-Nyarko who serves as Public Relations Officer for the Ghana based Harmonious Chorale shared with me about the video and piece following my inquiry:
“Come Let Us Sing ” composed by the Founder and Executive Director of Harmonious Chorale, James Varrick Armaah and dedicated to his brother Elijah Macdeshield Fiifi Eshun and Constance Eshun for the occasion
of their wedding, which took place August 10, 2019 in Delaware. Harmonious Chorale Ghana, is a multiple award winning non – denominational choir established in the capital Accra in 2005 as a quartet and later transforming into a full-fledged choir in October 2007. Through dedication and hard-work, Harmonious Chorale has carved for itself a niche and an identity which has provided mentoring opportunity for many choral groups in and outside Ghana. Additionally, the chorale was crowned the 2018 Champion of the World Choir Games in South Africa.
WATCH AND LISTEN TO “Come Let Us Sing” by James Varrick Armaah
A native of Petersburg, VA, Patrick holds a BM in Vocal Performance from Virginia State University and a MM in Church Music from Shenandoah Conservatory. Formerly the Performing Arts Columnist for Washington Life Magazine, he currently is a freelance writer, publishing articles for several noted publications, including The Washington Post, Early Music America Classical Music Voice North America, The Afro-American Newspaper, CBS Washington and Examiner.com. He is a member of the Music Critics Association of North America, National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc., The American Choral Directors’ Association, a member of the Shenandoah University Alumni Board of Directors and a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He serves as Organist/Choirmaster at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, Zion Parish in Beltsville, MD and serves on the music faculty of Virginia State University where he teaches applied voice, music appreciation and assist with the University Concert Choir. Visit http://www.patrickdmccoy.com