The Beginning - 2004
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The year 2009 will forever be remembered by the Kenyan Boys Choir fraternity as this was the year which saw the Choir receive an invitation from the American Government to attend the inaugural celebrations of the then elected U.S. president Barack Obama. It was also the same year that saw the Choir land their first international recording deal with Universal Records and went ahead to release the album “Spirit of Africa” in month of June.
Later on in the month of October, Kenyan Boys Choir had a huge success as the first ever African Choir to appear at the renowned Beijing International Music Festival with a sold out concert to 2000 people.
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.
The African Musical Arts formerly St. Louis African Chorus
The organization was founded to foster a better understanding of Africa’s cultures through musical arts. What began as a mission to showcase African choral composers through a small performing ensemble has expanded to a commitment to meet a larger audience desirous of new modes of artistic expression, entertainment and cross-cultural enrichment. Thus, African Musical Arts presents African-descent composers of choral music - both traditional and contemporary, as well as disciplined art (or classical) chamber music and orchestra works that collectively portray the rich diversity of Africa's musical arts and cultures. The Boys Choir of Kenya was founded in 2004 through an initiative of the African Musical Arts (formerly African Chorus).
OkobosOkobos is a footwear company, a charitable foundation and a new way of doing business. Its focus is on sustainable profitability—revenues that give back to families throughout the world. The Foundation’s mission is to serve children in impoverished communities by creating a marketplace that generates not only awareness, but profits. By meeting the basic needs of food, water, medical care, shelter, and emotional and spiritual support, Okobos' mission is to help children all over the world realize their potential.
Promethean SparkPromethean Spark is dedicated to teaching life skills through training in performing arts to impoverished youth worldwide; breaking the cycle of poverty by inspiring change from within. Promethean Spark sets up hubs for outreach both in the U.S. and in developing countries to provide consistent training and development opportunities in various styles of music and dance. The life lessons learned from these programs by the youth are invaluable as they apply them to any endeavor they may choose to pursue in their lives.
Fred OnovwerosuokeFred is a renowned composer and Founder of the St Louis-based African Musical Arts, Inc., an organization dedicated to promoting the music and accomplishments of African-descent composers. The Choir will forever be thankful to Fredo (as we like to call him), whose brain child is the Boys Choir of Kenya/Kenyan Boys Choir for his selfless contribution in elevating the status of the Choir to world standards through his rigorous and endless Choral and Artistry input to the Choir.