May 22, 2024
a group of people singing in a room

African Anglicans seek to standardise hymns singing

The Anglican Church has come up with a forum dubbed the International Hymn Festivals (IHF), which was hatched to shape the growth of singing traditions in Anglican churches in the East African region.

This year’s event will be held at the University of Dodoma, Tanzania, from October 26-28.

IHF is the first Anglican Church structure in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania in the Diocese of Eastern Equatorial Africa, started by Bishop James Hannington in 1884.

For the last nine years, Anglican Church choirs from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have been congregating annually to sing and compete in the IHF festival. The festival aims at having all Anglican Church choirs sing uniform hymns, without altering the tunes, lyrics and rhythms.

IHF Technical Director Dan Madalanga said they came up with the event to ensure hymns sung by Anglican Churches in Kenya are the same as those sung in Uganda, Tanzania and possibly Africa as a whole.

“The church was losing its traditional format of singing hymns and thereby tunes and rhythms started to change with drastic speed. This necessitated the need to come up with a common way to address and correct the situation so that we have a unified way of singing,” Madalanga told The Standard.

He said the festival, now in its 10th anniversary is making good progress and that it is only a matter of time before the church gets back to its original traditional way of singing its hymns.

“The IHF festivals have made Anglican churches regain their traditional format of singing her hymns,” said Madalanga, the Director of Music at Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) St Stephen’s Church in Nairobi.

Last year, the IHF festivals were held at ACK St Christine Church in Bungoma and attracted over 30 Anglican churches from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

This year, the IHF festival has attracted Anglican choirs from Malawi and Zambia.

By Ben Ahenda,

Source: The Standard

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