Tamale Youth and Obuasi Heralds Choirs Win Otumfuo Composers Competition

The Tamale Youth Choir and the Obuasi Heralds Choir emerged best performing choirs in the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Composers Competition at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.

The seven competing choir groups included the Tarkwa Crusaders Choir, Tema Mass Choir, Tamale Youth Choir, Bantama Youth Choir, Obuasi Heralds Choir, Kasoa Youth Choir and Amammereso Youth Choir.

Before their performances, guest choirs including Akoo Show Choir and the Winneba Youth Choir as well as the host choir, the Kumasi Evangel Choir gave electrifying performances.

Gracing the event held as part of the 25th enstoolment anniversary of the 16th Monarch of the Asante Kingdom were Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Lady Julia Osei Tutu, traditional authorities, the Minister for Roads and Highways, Hon Asenso Boakye, the Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof Rita Akosua Dickson and others.

Speaking at the event, Lady Julia under whose auspices the event was held commended her husband for his great leadership.

“Today we are gathered here to celebrate our great leader with music and uplifting lyrics that will certainly touch our hearts. I take this occasion to congratulate our sovereign, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, my dear husband on this great milestone, having attained a remarkable 25 years on the great Golden Stool.

“Otumfuo, you have served your people with unwavering dedication and shown great wisdom in all you have undertaken and so earned the love and esteem of your people and people from all over our country, as attested to today, through your devotion. On behalf of the entire family I say congratulations, my dear, we are all so proud of you, and I’m even more proud to be your partner in this journey called life.”

She also expressed her appreciation to the organisers and participants for their dedication to seeing the success of the event.

“Hearty congratulations and thanks to the organisers of this special event for uniting talented music makers and choirs nationwide. The beautiful songs and voices make this day truly special. My heartfelt gratitude to all the composers, your compositions are all special and will be etched in our minds and stay on the tip of our tongues for years to come, they are a true testament to your talent and dedication. All your compositions beautifully honour 25 years of Otumfuo’s rule and I urge you to continue creating beautiful music for our beloved country.”

Also speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Image Group, Mr Amankwaa Agyeman called on sponsors to make the choral competition an annual event in honour of the King.

“Music is a strong way to show our culture and tradition and today, we have the opportunity to see the talent and creativity of our composers…On this important day, I suggest that the Otumfuo Composers Competition should happen every year. This will not only give the composers the chance to show their skills but also help keep our musical traditions alive for the future.”

The Tamale Youth Choir and the Obuasi Heralds Choir distinguished themselves with their creative crafts composed respectively by Samuel Dowaana Mensah and Kingsley Joseph Ennin Kwesi Acheampong at the event held on April 5, 2024.

The group based in Tamale in the Northern Region took to the stage in their colourful traditional outfit, which added a sense of tradition to the event.

They displayed their craft using three dialects including Dagbani, Twi and English as they expressly highlighted the wisdom of the King which they likened to a river and mountain as well as the integrity and fairness Otumfuo has upheld in his leadership.

Also mounting the stage, the Obuasi Herald’s Choir preluded their craft with an ode and hailed the King as “the man”.

Their performance above all performances won the hearts of the eight judges and the entire audience.

In an interview with opemsuo.com, Mr Samuel Dowaana Mensah disclosed the song was composed in less than a week and credited the hand of God for their victory as he explained the motivation behind the use of different dialects.

“Surprisingly, this was done in less than a week. I decided to use three different languages: Dagbani, English and Twi so that anyone who is listening will understand…Everyone came expecting to win, definitely, I also came expecting to win. God being on our side we made it. We are happy that we have won. We are very proud of what we have been able to achieve.”

On the inspiration behind the song, he said, “The Asantehene, not just for Asante Kingdom, is the only king in Ghana. The level with which he has led the people makes us know that indeed he is worthy to be praised. In the 25 years of his reign, a lot of things have happened. How he disciplined chiefs who err, the love for his people and all that played a role in the song’s composition.”

He is seeking to leverage the choir he leads to bridge the gap between the North and South in terms of chorale music.

In an interview with Opemsuo Radio’s Adwoa Serwaa Yonkodo, the Administrator of the Obuasi Heralds Choir, Emmanuel Eshun said their hard work had paid off.

“We thank God. We achieved this by hard work. We were challenged in joining but we finally made it here to compete.”

Aside from the GHc10,000 given to all participating choir groups, the Tamale Youth Choir and the Obuasi Heralds Choir took home an additional GHc30,000 from sponsors.

The Tamale-based choir also pocketed an additional GHC10,000 from the CEO of UNIJAY Fashion, Janet Abobigu.

Meanwhile, organizers and sponsors of the event were presented with citations

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