Thursday, August 7, 2008

Oxford University Press: 'Songs of Africa', Compiled and Edited by Fred Onovwerosuoke

New York, NY, 1 August, 2008 – Oxford University Press is pleased to announce the release of a new choral collection, Songs of Africa, compiled and edited by Fred Onovwerosuoke.

Songs of Africa offers an exciting SATB collection of 22 diverse African choral music that every singer, choral director, music educator, and enthusiast will find invaluable. Fred Onovwerosuoke and the St. Louis African Chorus have transcribed and created these arrangements which represent a wide spectrum of Africa’s regions and cultural practices. The songs cover subjects such as spirituality, religion, community, work, and play, and are selected from many African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Congo, Benin Republic, South Africa, Namibia, and Gambia. They offer not only a welcome addition to choral repertoire but also a refreshing alternative for concert settings and church services. This collection includes English translations, notes on performance practice and cultural context, a pronunciation guide, and, where accompaniment is needed or suggested, some accessible percussion charts. A promotional CD compilation of recordings from concerts by diverse choirs from around the world of the music contained in this collection is available from the publisher.

Fred Onovwerosuoke was born in 1960 in Ghana to Nigerian parents and grew up in both countries. For over two decades Onovwerosuoke has travelled extensively in over thirty African countries researching and documenting Africa’s vocal music traditions. In 1994 he founded the St. Louis African Chorus to help nurture African choral music as a mainstream repertoire for performance and education. Today, the organisation’s mission has broadened to include other art music by composers of African descent. Onovwerosuoke maintains an active schedule as conductor, composer, and lecturer, and his music has been featured in films, documentaries, and radio. He currently serves as Artistic Director of the St. Louis African Chorus and has been Editor of the Voice of African Music newsletter since 1993. A more detailed biography is available online at

For more information, please contact the Oxford Music Department at (212) 726-6109 or email Prices listed below are subject to change without notice. Songs of Africa 9780193804654 $19.95 Available now. ‘…synoptic and deliberately Pan-African perspective which brings a selection of choral music cultivated by different ethnic and linguistic groups together in one volume…promoting understanding and appreciation of the integrity of the artic dimension of African music …’’ – J. H. Kwabena Nketia

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