Singing the Birds
In Ghana, the electricity comes in 220 Volts. It seems to require more wires than 110. Just outside of my room here on the Peki Seminary campus there is line of evenly spaced small wires. There is also a small flock of very tiny black birds that come to sit on these wires….
In Ghana, the electricity comes in 220 Volts. It seems to require more wires than 110. Just outside of my room here on the Peki Seminary campus there is line of evenly spaced small wires. There is also a small flock of very tiny black birds that come to sit on these wires. I once remarked to a student on campus who was on her way to the woman’s dormitory that they reminded me of notes on a staff. She proceeded to sing the notes in the arrangement that the birds composed that day. Several times I have been delighted in the talents of both the composers and the singer as they work together to make wonderful music!
Music is a large part of life here Ghana. It is a very important aspect of the spiritual life of the church as they gather to encourage each other throughout the week. Several years ago a missionary named Jane started a music program at the Peki Seminary, which has been a blessing to so many in the E P Church. This devoted woman, along with her family and the Nebraska Conference of the United Church of Christ, have been generous and faithful in being sponsors of this valuable department of this seminary.
Mabel, the young woman who can “sing the birds,” is about to graduate from this program. She is twenty-one years of age and she has five brothers (three older, two younger). That experience has helped equip her to be one of the only two females currently enrolled in the music school. She has been interested in church music for the past eight years. Her home church, the Dodome Awuiasu Ho Blancoe E.P. Church, has sponsored her for the past two years with the understanding that she will serve as their music director for two years when she graduates in August. Mabel then dreams of going to the Wineba University and pursuing a B.A. in music so she can teach music at a college level.
I ask her about her hardest course and she told me it was sight-reading. I would not have known that with her ability sight-read what the birds had written on the wires. During her time here she has also studied music theory, choir arrangements and management, song writing (she has written five songs), western music, African music, rhythm, dancing, keyboards and brass (brass bands are highly valued in programs here).
Mabel loves Jesus, her church and music! She is often singing as she moves about campus. She told me that the highlight of her last two years here was the music performance at the graduation ceremony of students last summer. It makes me look forward to seeing the graduation ceremony in August and watching her and her fellow musicians along with my second year students receive their diplomas and celebrate that happy day with them!