Saturday, July 4, 2009

'Missed Opportunities' Is Work In Progress of Kenyan Composer Timothy K. Njoora

[Prof. Timothy K. Njoora, DMA]

On Nov. 22, 2007, AfriClassical posted “Dr. Timothy K. Njoora, Composer, 'claiming Kenya's place in the world of concert music'”. Dr. Caleb Okumu Chrispo of the Department of Creative and Performing Arts at Kenya's Maseno University had informed us: “The most active Kenyan Composer at the moment is Dr. Timothy Njoora.” Dr. Njoora, a Senior Lecturer, told us: “I am currently working at Kenyatta University in the Department of Music and Dance. I studied Music, Composition and Music Education at Barrington College, Rhode Island, BA (1980) in Music and in Mississippi College, Clinton, Mississippi for my M. Mus, 1983 (Music Education).” “In the year 2000, I graduated with a Doctor of Musical Arts (Music Education and Composition) degree from University of Oregon.” We listed three of his songs; “Re-Union, For Solo Violin & Piano Accompaniment”; and "Mt. Kenya Passage" For Brass Quintet.

Dr. Timothy K. Njoora is now Chairman of the Department of Music and Dance at Kenyatta University. On July 1, 2009 he replied to an inquiry about his recent activities, other Kenyan composers, and performances in Kenya of music of composers of African descent: “It is indeed nice to hear from you and to also know you are actively engaged in 'Blog' reports on African Art music. All the best to you in this very noble venture. Since we communicated last time I have (or continue to work) on several pieces. For example currently I am working on a voice/Oboe/Bass Guitar/Piano piece entitled 'Missed Opportunities' which essentially laments the constant loss of many career and job opportunities among young people. I am also working on a lullaby from South Africa where I have visited a couple of times and earlier on I was working on a piece 'He That Believes in Me.' As you can imagine I work all the time and I seem to always have 'works in progress.' My other mission is to find ways to make what I have composed and is performed accessible to audiences, at least here in Kenya.

"With regard to Music by other Kenyan composers, I will make an effort to provide what information I may have on the subject as soon I am able to do so. There are indeed some Kenyan composers who are actively involved in 'Art Music.' And on the question of performances of works by African/Diaspora composers, I have to say in this regard we are fairly uneventful. Part of the reason is that music concerts are privately organized by European visitors and organizers who live in Kenya (temporarily or for longer periods) and there is no not so much effort to reflect on such works. For now stay well and best of luck with your 'blog' activities. Timothy K. Njoora, D.M.A.”

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