In July (2018) Takoma Academy Chorale and Camerata will be competing in the World Choir Games, the largest choral competition in the world. This event occurs every two years on a different continent, and is based on the Olympic ideals, which aim to peacefully unify people and nations connected by song in a fair competition. It attracts upwards of 25,000 individuals and represents hundreds of choirs from around the world. For the first time, it will be held in Africa, in Tshwane (Pretoria), South Africa.
The Takoma Academy choir has received national recognition in their pursuit for excellence, all while actively engaging in service projects to give back to the community. This past school year, the choir performed at the White House for the First Lady Michelle Obama, for the opening ceremony of the 2016 Miss World competition at the U.S. Capitol and participated in the Columbia Union Choir Festival. They also volunteered at homeless shelters, collected and distributed backpack supplies for needy students and help with relief aid to hurricane victims.
Though in different categories, TA’s Chorale and Camerata will be competing along with fellow Adventist singers from Oakwood University, who won the event several years ago. “The World Choir Games will provide our students with a once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase unity and pursue excellence,” says Lulu Mupfumbu, TA’s music director. “As fellow brothers and sisters in faith, we invite you to show your support to our students of Takoma Academy. This is an opportunity for them to not only be ambassadors of our faith, but of Takoma Academy, the state of Maryland, your vision of who our young people should be today.”
In 2012, 2013, and 2015, the choir won the Montgomery County Martin Luther King Talent Search Award and was invited to perform for the Martin Luther King Celebration at the Strathmore Center (North Bethesda, Md.). In 2013, the choir earned 1st place at the I-Sing High School Choir Challenge at Reid Temple A.M.E. Church (Glenn Dale, Md.) and was awarded $5,000; and in 2015, upon an invitation to compete again, the choir earned 2nd place at this same competition. The choir has performed internationally in Canada, Bermuda, Jamaica, Czech Republic and the Bahamas.
Now the Takoma Academy choir hopes to stretch themselves as they embark on the new journey, that challenges personality and team spirit.
In order to sing in this world renowned event, the 60 students must raise a collective amount of $250,000. “The Takoma Academy community and parents of students are all participating in fundraising for this effort,” says Mupfumbu. “Yet, we need greater support from our larger community to achieve this goal. We need you to join us.”