The Blantyre CCAP Synod, through its Music Department, will be celebrating the Power of Gospel Music on October 20 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre. JAMES CHIMPWEYA talked to music director in the synod Reverend Harold Frank Mbeza to find out the role gospel music has played in the church.
Briefly, what is the history of the music ministry in the synod?
It is historically claimed that music writing began about four hundred years ago while man has been singing since three million years ago. Indeed, man adopted singing from birds of the air which have been singing though without meaning for millions of years.
So, what is music?
Music is a sign of life, action and progress. The entire life of the Christian church today rests on Christian music communication. It could be the reason the Blantyre Synod decided to inaugurate the Music Department by the year 1981.
What would you describe as the benefits of gospel music today as you celebrate the power of gospel music?
Since the formation of the Music Department in Blantyre Synod, today we have over 1 000 choral groups for men, women and youths. Apart from this, four people have been trained in music by the Presbyterian Church of Canada. These are Reverend Maxwell Songola, Margaret Kamkwamba, Reverend Harold Frank Mbeza and Reverend L. Kadango. Apart from training these people, the Canadian church also gave us a musician, car, piano, cassette and recorder.
The achievements include the training of choral members and directors in all presbyteries of the synod. Many Malawians today are self-employed by using the music skills they learnt in the synod.