To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life our redemption to win,
And opened the lifegate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice;
Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory; great things He hath done
It was the book launch of I LOVE THE LORD by James Varrick Armaah, one of Ghana’s finest choral music composers. It was a day that fixed the joy of all who were present at the Trinity United Church, East Legon, exactly a month after witnessing Kenn Kafui’s book launch at Christ The King
James Varrick Armaah is the Executive Director of the Harmonious Chorale Ghana, one of Ghana’s finest choral ensembles. He holds a Master of Philosophy in Music at the University of Ghana and MBA at the Central University College. He has more than 300 compositions to his name with many more in the pipeline. His ingenuity has established him as one of the highest profile contemporary Ghanaian choral music composers, the likes of which include Emeritus J.N.K Nketiah, Kenn Kafui, Prof. Sekyi Baidoo, George Essilfie Mensah, Rev Donkor, Rev. Dr. Newlove Annan.
His preceding album, Odo Ben Nie which was launched two years ago to commemorate his 30th birthday celebration, includes some of his finest compositions such as Nkwagye Kura and Menim nea Menya. The new book comes along with thirty-three beautiful compositions titled “I LOVE THE LORD”.
The launch was well attended by many people from all facets of the choral music industry with other distinguished dignitaries from the clergy and the chieftaincy. The programme was chaired by Rev. Dr. Joyce Aryee, the Director of the Salt and Light Ministries (SALM), and supported by the king of the Osu Alata clan who also doubles as a chorister of the Christ Anglican Church, Legon. The surviving patriarch of art music in Ghana, Emeritus Joseph Nana Kwabena Nketiah and his wife were also in attendance with composers both renowned and upcoming.
In attendance were the performing choirs: Harmonious Chorale Ghana, Vocal Essence Chorale and The Symphonials from Valley View University. Gramophone Ghana which holds its next edition of Fellowship of Songs at the same venue were present to extend their support, as well as Glorious Philharmonic Choir. The organizers of the Ghana Youth Choir festival were in attendance to grace the occasion together with a massive crowd of choral music lovers filling the auditorium to brim.
The programme kicked off with the rendition of Armaah’s O Happy Day That Fixed my Choice, which was beautifully sung by the mass choir comprising of Harmonious Chorale Ghana, Vocal Essence Chorale and Symphonials, and followed with an opening prayer. Minister Nii Okai, one of Ghana’s established gospel musicians took over with his solemn and soothing ministration of Armaah’s Anka Me Ne Hwan, which ushered us into the realms of the content of the new book.
Vocal Essence Chorale followed up with their ministration of Long Ago in a Manger, Madansefo,Gyae su noand Me to Ndwom, all composed by James Varrick Armaah, and another ministration of I have learnt to trust in Jesus by Nii Okai and Mrs. Karen Dadzie of the Harmonious Chorale Ghana followed after.
The Symphonials of Valley View had their turn to Heavenly Father, Nea Nyame aye dooso, Wo haw ne sen and Ewuradze beye which was sung with much expression. Uncle Ben Essel also ministered Okyeso Nyame.
The book titled “KAF AFRICAN CHORALISM VOL.2” was launched and auctioned by the giant patroness of choral music in Ghana, Rev. Dr. Joyce Aryee with the highest bids at Ghc 3000, Ghc 2000 and Ghc 500 respectively. The various choirs that participated all contributed their quota by buying both the tonic-solfa and staff copies of the book.
Harmonious Chorale Ghana took to the stage with Varrick behind the keyboard as they led the audience through a series of his new compositions including I love the Lord, In your time you make all things beautiful, Den na Nyame ntumi nye with Mrs. Karen Dadzie of Harmonious Chorale Ghana rendering a solo and Anka me wo hen with Uncle Ben Essel.
The mass choir ministered Tumi ye wo de daa with a lovely solo by Joel Aidoo of Harmonious Chorale Ghana, Eye me enigye, Me ma wo Nkwagye kuruwa no so and Pae mu ka.
There were concluding performances of To God be the Glory – with a tune by Varrick Armaah which preluded the closing prayer and a couple of High-life tunes by the composer, prominent of them were Oye and Menim nea Menya.
The book “I LOVE THE LORD” was launched and auctioned by Rev. Dr. Joyce Aryee at various prices ranging
3000 and Gh 100. Invited guests like Nii Kwabena Bonne V and others offered varying support towards the exercise
besides getting copies of the book. Many copies of the book were bought by the audience and attending groups under
the catchphrase – “One chorister, One book”, a similar exercise done at Kenn Kafui’s book launch some weeks ago. One
Chorister, One Book, is a new initiative to help arrest and wipe out the copyright syndrome in the choral music
industry, which disincentives composers.. Below is a breakdown of purchases by some choral groups:
Harmonious Chorale Ghana - 75 copies
Symphonials - 80 copies
Christ Anglican Church, Legon - 30 copies
Trinity United Church - 20 copies
Do you love the Lord? If you do, then get a copy of "I Love the Lord"-by James Varrick Armaah for GHs 40.00
Contact: | 0279452540 | 0242230855 | Salt and Light Ministries, Abelempke | Music Department Library, Univ. of Ghana, Legon.