Kenya Utalii College emerged the winner at the institutional level as the 95th edition of the Kenya National Music Festival entered its seventh day on Thursday (August 17) at Dedan Kimathi University of Science and Technology.
The festival saw institutions present music and elocution classes under the Competency Based Curriculum supported by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.
“This festival is the best opportunity for students to experience the elements of competency-based learning in real time,” said Prof Charles Ong’ondo, the Executive Director of KICD.
Secondary schools presented well-choreographed Zilizopendwa melodies and choral verses.
The good oldies came alive as students performed pieces by various classical artists.
Chuka Girls High School’s choral verse entitled Half Term Break, sponsored by Uraia Trust, won the class. The song highlighted the benefits of voting during elections.
It also highlights the effects of violence and negative ethnicity, as well as electoral malpractice. In the verse, the persona, a secondary school girl, recounts her experiences during the August 2022 election break.
In piano class, Jayden Wanywa Waswa Shitubi, a Grade 5 pupil at Shekina School in Kimilili, Bungoma County, is following in the footsteps of his father, Dr Shitubi Isaac, a lecturer of music education at Moi University.
In his first attempt, Jayden competed against other experienced pianists from the rest of the country and finished in the top ten with 86 points.
Dr Shitubi says Jayden is dedicated, focused and eager to learn, which has led him to study piano at Eagle Bird Music Academy, where his father is the director, on weekends.
Dr Shitubi has urged district governments to set up music and performing arts centres to nurture talent among the youth.
He said such centres will also go a long way in supporting the implementation of the competency-based curriculum.
Other quality performances in the piano category came from SCLP Samaj, Lukenya Academy, Goldfields, Friends Academy Annece, Makini, Royal Brains, Bescare, Eagles Primary, De Paul Thomas, Promise Kadzo of Bunny School and Steve Matara of Chumo School among others.
Lugala School from Western Kenya impressed the audience with a verse entitled Sinyorita. The character, Sinyorita, now an ambassador for human rights, tells her story of the past and encourages the child to take a step forward and report cases of human rights violations.
The rich imagery and vivid descriptions left the audience enthralled by the artistic structure of the play. The verse was written by Murunga Nashon, Achesa Victor and Ahenda Joy.
Acts of Hope from Nyaza performed the African folk lullaby Mama mbe nstimbinsti (Mother give me seeds to go and plant).
The song is sung to lull a baby to sleep. The mother goes out and promises to bring the baby a mango when she returns.
Later, the baby wakes up before the mother returns and the sister carries the baby on her back. Written by Fredrick Onyango Osungu, the piece encourages children to always help their parents with household chores.
St Martins Special School from Nyanza, Pwani School, Allamano Special School, Jacaranda Special School, St Patrick’s Special School, Kakamega Primary, Kipkelion Special School presented powerful pieces.
The event features items from all learning institutions under the Ministry of Education. It also features pieces by learners from the Early Curriculum Development.