The Choir

The Kenyan Boys Choir also Known as Boys Choir of Kenya is a choral ensemble of talented boys drawn from high schools and Colleges around Kenya. The choir is dedicated to moulding a world class choral outfit that offers a platform for Kenyan Boys to nurture their natural talents in Music, dance and drama, while imparting life principles of discipline, hard work perseverance, persistence and determination. In order to shape a youth citizenry that is responsible and of impeccable integrity for effective leadership in the society, the choir advocates for attainment of quality education for its members. Education is elementary in the augmentation of any individual towards being a responsible and an empowered member of the society; a fact that the Kenyan Boys Choir believes in and strives to inculcate.

The Beginning

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The choir has its roots in Aquinas High School Nairobi where it was the school’s main choir. In 2004, The Boys Choir of Kenya was choir founded under the auspices of the then St. Louis African Chorus (currently African Music Arts) under the mentorship of Dr. Fred Onovwerosuoke, a renowned Musicologist and Cross-Cultural educator. It was during the same year that the choir made their maiden tour out of their home country Kenya to the United States of America. Audiences and press alike followed the boys through the Northeast, up to Quebec, down to Atlanta, through major cities in the Midwest. The St. Louis African Chorus, managed to tour the choir in more than 12 different states conducting workshops and concerts with their U.S. counterparts. It was also during their performance in St. Louis that they had a week dedicated in their honor as ‘‘the Boys Choir of Kenya week’’ by the Mayor of the city of St. Louis due to their magnificent performance.

2005

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Upon their return to Nairobi after a successful tour in 2005, The Boys Choir of Kenya expanded its membership to include students from other High Schools and colleges from within Nairobi and its environs. Students from other schools who were eagerly interested in joining the choir but were locked out due to its exclusivity to the Aquinas high School fraternity got a chance of being part of one of Kenya’s most celebrated youth group. The choir hence had a national outlook due to its representation by students from all over the country.

2006

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Now with a national outlook, The Choir was becoming everybody’s favorite, with corporate firms and individuals inviting them to perform during various occasions. During the 2006 4th of July celebrations at the U.S Embassy Nairobi, the choir delighted their host, His Excellency Ambassador Michael Ranneberger who couldn’t stop looking at his guests with a smile on his face as they enjoyed the performance by the Choir. Ever since this day the Choir has been the main entertainment group during these celebrations. It was also during the same year that the choir charmed sports lovers from all over East Africa during the auspicious Sportsman of the Year Awards (SOYA Awards), an annual award ceremony in celebration of the best athletes from within Kenya and the larger East Africa.

2007

Performing for young students in Canada

In 2007 the Choir was back in the U.S. courtesy of The Micato Tours and Safaris Company which was hosting more than 3000 tours and travel agents from all over the world during the month of August in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada.

2008

Amerika Jambo

Early 2008, in the month of February the Choir toured three different states in the U.S. again which was now becoming their home away from home with a very huge fan base across the entire country. This time round the Choir flew for 12 straight hours to Los Angeles California where they entertained clients and friends of the Micato Safari Family. From Los Angeles, the Choir went to Las Vegas again for a bigger audience of more than 7000 who were attending the 70th Anniversary ceremony of The Carlson’s sharing the platform with renowned artistes like Tony Benet and Paul Potts amongst others. Regis Philbin, who was the master of ceremony, couldn’t stop praising the boys’ performance which had impressed all who had attended including the Swedish Queen. Before heading back home, the Choir held a couple of workshops in St. Louis with their counterparts The St. Louis Children’s Choir. It was also during their stay in St. Louis that they managed to record their second Album Dubbed ‘’Amerika Jambo’’ which was released on the month of January 2009.

2008 was a very busy year for the Choir who had to go back to the U.S. on the month of July after being invited by The Okobos shoe Company in Las Vegas. The Choir caught the attention of all who attended the World Shoe Association forum at the Las Vegas convention centre. The company which was only 5 hours old had already made it into the headlines on some of the magazines at the convention, after the sterling performance by the Choir. The Choir also recorded a jingle for the Okobos Company within the same period of time.

Three months later the Choir was again back in the U.S. to perform at a Rock Concert as the Curtain raisers with Artistes; Death Cab for Cutie, Jewel among others, giving impressive performances.

2010

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2010 saw the choir tour the greater U.K. on a series of performances from Britain, Wales, Ireland to Scotland with massive audiences enthralled by the cultural display staged by the choir.

In January 2011, the choir was invited by WE Charity Organisation to perform for Grammy award winner Nelly Furtado who was in Kenya on a charity mission. She was thrilled by their performance of an articulate Africanized rendition of her hit song “Powerless” and was left in awe.

In June 2011 the choir performed with sensational UK Artist Ely Goulding at a performance organized by Free the Children In Maasai Mara and the audience were mesmerized by the choir’s performance of her hit song “Lights”.

In September 2011, WE Charity Organisation invited the choir to participate in WE DAY celebrations in Toronto, Canada where the choir performed before thousands of enthusiasts in Air Canada Centre Arena. The choir also got an opportunity to share the stage with

  • Grammy Award winner, Nelly Furtado
  • Popular Canadian rapper and producer  Kardinal Offishall
  • Renowned Canadian artists and performers: City and Colour, Nikki Yanofsky and Neverest Band
  • Platinum selling, JUNO Award winning Canadian pop icon and producer, Shawn Desman

Dignitaries that the choir interacted with during the tour include

  • Mary Robinson; first female President of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Patch Adams; social activist, citizen diplomat and author
  • Rick Hansen, Canadian Paralympian
  • DEGRASSI actors Munro Chambers and Aislinn Paul
  • Award winning actor, film director and political activist, Danny Glover

It was also during this performance that they collaborated with Nelly Furtado in singing her hit song ‘Powerless’. The choir also got the exceptional opportunity to feature on Nelly Furtado’s album ‘The Spirit Indestructible’ and recorded with her a track entitled ‘Thoughts’.

In June 2012, their Fourth album Liberty was recorded in Nanyuki Kenya and it featured compositions, folk tunes and arrangements of applauded pop tunes. The album was launched in Canada in 2013.

 

In June 2012, through the invitation of WE Charity Organisation, the choir serenaded assorted personalities ,artists and audiences from all over the world at Maasai Mara including

  • Nelly Furtado– Grammy and Juno award-winner and Free The Children ambassador

2013

In April 2013, the choir went down in the books of history by being among the cream of Kenyan artists that performed during the inauguration of the fourth president of Kenya, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta.

Many international artists visited the country in 2013 courtesy of WE Charity Organisation and the choir continued with their unmatched reputation of adding value and staging unforgettable presentations of their hit songs. The artists comprised

  • Jonas Jonas–Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum artists
  • Demi Lovato – Award-winning singer-songwriter and Free The Children ambassador
  • Victoria Duffield – Canadian singer, actor and dancer
  • Tyler Shaw – Certified gold selling artist and Free The Children Ambassador
  • Kay – Canadian singer-songwriter
  • Kardinal Offishall– Award-winning Canadian rapper and record producer.
  • Nelly Furtado– Grammy and Juno award-winner and Free The Children ambassador

These artists could not resist but get on stage to perform with the choir. It was also during this year that the choir was highly commended by luminaries from various walks of life who were in the country in support of Free the Children. They held that not only was the choir’s performance breath taking, but it made them long for their next visit to the country.

In September 2013, the choir embarked on their first ever three month tour to North America courtesy of Free the Children where they performed more than 300 shows spreading love and joy to hundreds of thousands in Canada and United States while championing for F.T.C’S Campaign; Be the Change. The choir shared the stage with world renowned artists including

  • Imagine Dragons – Award-winning, multi-platinum rock band
  • Austin Mahone  – Award-Winning American pop singer and YouTube sensation
  • Serena Ryder – JUNO Award-winning artist
  • Jonas Brothers – GRAMMY®-nominated, multi-platinum artists
  • Hedley – Multi-platinum, JUNO and MMVA Award-winning recording artists
  • Down With Webster – Five time JUNO Award nominated, platinum selling genre-defying band with new album, Party for your Life, coming out October 22nd
  • Jonas Brothers –Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum artists
  • Carly Rae Jepsen – Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum singer-songwriter
  • Fifth Harmony – America’s first teen girl group
  • Bridgit Mendler– Platinum selling artist and star of Disney’s Good Luck Charlie
  • Jesse Giddings– E! News correspondent and Free The Children ambassador
  • Bare-naked Ladies – JUNO Award-winning rock band
  • Cast members from the Emmy-nominated TV series DEGRASSI
  • Lights – JUNO Award winner and Canadian electro-rock singer, songwriter
  • Victoria Duffield – Canadian singer, actor and dancer
  • Tyler Shaw – Certified gold selling artist and Free The Children ambassador
  • Neverest – Chart-topping, MMVA nominated Canadian pop-rock band
  • Kay – Canadian singer-songwriter
  • Donisha Prendergast – Filmmaker, actress, dancer, poet and Bob and Rita Marley’s granddaughter

Memories of spectacular collaborations of the choir with trending artists remain edged in minds of fans who were thrilled during WE Day 2013. These artists included

  • Demi Lovato– Award-winning singer-songwriter and Free The Children ambassador
  • Darren Criss – Cast member from the Emmy Award-winning series Glee (host for We Day Toronto)
  • Chris Tse – Me to We inspirational speaker, national spoken-word champion and humanitarian
  • Nelly Furtado– Grammy and JUNO award-winner and Free The Children ambassador
  • Shawn Desman– Platinum-selling, JUNO and MMVA Award-winning recording artist and host of We Day Alberta
  • Kardinal Offishall– Award-winning Canadian rapper and record producer
  • Karl Wolf– International recording artist, Socan& MTV Europe Music Award winner
  • The Tenors– Juno Award-winning Multi-platinum singers
  • Hedley – Multi-platinum, JUNO and MMVA Award-winning recording artists

The Choir also got to interact with luminaries who were motivational speakers during this tour and imparted the noble initiative of being the Change they want around the world.

  • Craig and Marc Kielburger– International activists and co-founders of Free The Children
  • Kofi Annan – Former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, who has recently launched the ‘Kofi Annan Dialogues’, a series of online conversations inspiring young people to lead
  • The Honourable Kathleen Wynne – Premier of Ontario
  • Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – President of Liberia and first elected female Head of State in Africa
  • Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan
  • Martin Luther King III – Human Rights advocate and eldest son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Barbara Pierce Bush – Humanitarian, Co-founder and President, Global Health Corps, and daughter of Former US President George W. Bush
  • Col. Chris Hadfield – Retired Canadian astronaut and first Canadian to walk in space\
  • Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons – CFL Hall of Famer, Vice Chair of the Toronto Argonauts
  • Youth speakers – Hannah Alper, Vishal Vijay, and Sydney Brouillard-Coyle
  • Spencer West – Me to We inspirational speaker, Free The Children ambassador, author and double amputee who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro on his hands and in his wheelchair in June, 2012
  • Molly Burke – Visually impaired Me to We motivational speaker who speaks out against bullying and the power of hope
  • Robin Wiszowaty – Me to We motivational speaker, author and Free The Children Program Director in Ghana and Kenya
  • The Honourable Roméo A. Dallaire – Lieutenant-General and author
  • MTV hosts Aliya-Jasmine Sovani and Scott Willats (hosts for We Day Vancouver).
  • Mark Dayton – Governor of Minnesota
  • Brenda Cassellius– Commissioner of Education, Minnesota
  • Chris Coleman– Mayor of St. Paul
  • Debby Ryan– Disney Channel actress and musician
  • Mia Farrow– Award-winning actress, activist and United Nations ambassador
  • Jack Jablonski– Local Benilde – St. Margaret’s teen who suffered a spinal cord injury during a hockey game
  • Marissa Mohammed – Youth speaker from the Banyan Community Center
  • Native Pride Arts – Indigenous youth performers whose mission is to educate, inspire, motivate and empower diverse communities
  • Magic Johnson– NBA legend, two-time hall of famer and philanthropist
  • Amanda Lindhout– New York Times best-selling author of A House in the Sky, Founder of the Global Enrichment Foundation
  • Mikhail Gorbachev – Former President of the Soviet Union and Nobel Peace Laureate
  • Liz Murray – Author of the New York Times Bestselling memoir, Breaking Night: My Journey from Homeless to Harvard
  • Hannah Taylor – 16 year old social activist and founder of The Ladybug Foundation and The Ladybug Foundation Education Program
  • Honourable Justice Sinclair – Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Manitoba’s first Aboriginal Judge
  • Jillian Martin – Miss Teen Canada-World 2013
  • Martin Sheen – Emmy and Golden Globe Award winning actor and activist
  • Wilson and Jackson – Maasai warriors, authors of The Last Maasai Warriors; and Free The Children ambassadors
  • Mia Farrow– Award-winning actress, activist and United Nations ambassador

 

8 thoughts on “The Choir”

  1. Hi! You guys visited my school, Lakeside, this Monday and I am seriously hoping that you’ll, come back one day. I’m the one Muslim girl who spent time talking to you for a while after the assembly was over, but you probably don’t remember me and that’s okay. I love the work that you’re doing and I now have plans to go to Kenya, so thanks for that! I hope to see you guys preform, because while I was watching you guys all sing together, (this will sound crazy) I felt like I could see a kind of light coming from you, and all of you were surrounded in it. I know that it doesn’t make sense, but that is what I saw. Anyway, you should definitely come back to Lakeside and preform again before the year 2018 because that’s when I graduate. I hope to see you soon, and please, sing for a long as possible with this amazing group of yours, because it is something special that not everyone has the opportunity of experiencing.

    1. Hi Fatuma,

      Thank you so much for reaching out. Indeed we remember Lakeside and all the love you gave us as we perform. We are happy to hear the impact of our music and how we have inspired you. We are looking forward to seeing you in Kenya and also maybe to do a comeback in Lakeside before you graduate (just keep your fingers crossed on this).
      Continue being the change.

      regards,
      Kelvin Mahasi
      Admin.

  2. Wow!!! We are all blown away. Thanks for such an inspiring performance. We teach our students to be citizens of the world and you, Kenyan Boys Choir, show them how.

  3. I have totally fallen in love with your 2009 CD Spirit of Africa.

    I would love to purchase more of your CDs.

    Where can I find lyrics or translations of lyrics? I try to sing what you do, and I am getting better, but it would be nice to know what I am trying to sing about!

    You are magnificent, beautiful and talented. I am in Virginia, USA, and if you come by, I will come see you sing.

    Thank you for hours and hours of joy.

    Sue

    1. Hi sue,

      Thank you so much for reaching out. We are happy to hear you enjoy our music and that you are making effort to sing along. currently we have not posted our lyrics online. However, if you need lyrics to specific songs just feel free to list them or send us an email to info@kenyanboyschoir.com and we’ll be happy to provide you with the lyrics. You can also purchase more of our physical CDs from cdbaby.com Just place an order and they will ensure you get a copy. You can also get more of our songs on iTunes.

      Best regards,
      Kelvin Mahasi
      Administrator

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