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Concerts on the Cove brings Uganda Choir to Coupeville

"On Thursday, June 29, Christ the King Church Choir from Kampala, Uganda will perform at 7:30 p.m. in the Coupeville High School Performing Arts Center, sponsored by Concerts on the Cove.Music includes European and American classical literature, compositions by modern day natives and African traditional songs and dances.Music is the backbone of entertainment in my country, conductor Patrick F. Mberenge said. Indeed, every tribe has a cultural background that is different from the other and music is one of the distinguishing factors. Members of Christ the King Church Choir are of different tribal backgrounds. When we sing, we share the values of music from one another.The full choir has 70 members, this choir has 43, Mberenge said, but it isn't very different except that they learned the very challenging work of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 for the Oregon Festival.The choir was founded in 1936 to bring a high level of choral singing to regular Sunday Mass services. The choir soon expanded its appearances to include weddings, baptisms, requiem masses, ecumenical services and state functions. Christ the King Church Choir also presents concerts every Christmas and Easter season and has performed works by various international and local composers.Patrick F. Mberenge joined the choir as a bass singer in 1976. His unique talent of singing as well as teaching the choir classical music earned him the position of music director in 1985. As director, he continues to instruct the choir in a wide range of classical church music originating within Uganda and from other regions. Through his dedication to quality singing, Mberenge has become a source of inspiration to other directors. He is a banker by profession.The 43-member choir sang at the Oregon Bach Festival and St. James Cathedral in Seattle before coming to Coupeville. Following their appearance on Whidbey Island, Christ the King Church Choir will perform, for the second time, at the International Choral Kathaumixw Festival in Powell River, British Columbia. In 1998, the choir placed first in the Folk Music category.Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and are available at Coupeville Pharmacy, Great Times Espresso and Videoville; in Oak Harbor at Daily Grind, Wind and Tide Bookshop; in Freeland at Book Bay; in Clinton at the CyberC@fe; and at the Greenbank Farm.For information, call Concerts on the Cove at 360-678-4684."

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