A Pentecost concert filled with joy

“This was a typical Zambian concert – filled with joy and filled with the Holy Spirit! What can I say? Great!” It was with these words that Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider expressed his thanks to the many choir members and instrumentalists – and there were several hundred of them!

The central church in Lusaka is an imposing edifice that boasts seating for well over 1,000 people. But on this occasion even this building proved too small! Many people stood in the back or in the entrance hall. The church was full to overflowing! The choir numbered some 180 voices, and the orchestra was occupied at symphony volume. The stage arrangement offered an imposing view.

Many musical directions – many languages

After an opening hymn sung by all, as well as an opening prayer and some words of greeting, a rich and diverse programme began to unfold with contributions from the choir, the orchestra, a children’s choir, and various soloists, with performances ranging from traditional music to Mendelssohn – different worlds, different styles, and different languages. Considering that some 250 of those in attendance came from all parts of Africa, and that all the District Apostles of the world were present as well, this was also a good thing.

Three soloists stood on the stage to perform the first song, which was entitled, “The Comforter has come”. These words were reminiscent of this year’s motto for the feast of Pentecost in Lusaka: “The Holy Spirit, our Guide and Comforter.” The soprano soloist, together with a tenor soloist and a bass soloist, developed quite an imposing sound. Their well-trained voices came to effect effortlessly and impressively. It was easy to feel in them a deeply rooted conviction. This piece was followed by the first traditional song—and there were several of them on this Saturday afternoon. “Moya ni menyaliwa” is a work that sings of the Spirit and the bride, who both cry out, “Come!” and of all those who hear it, who also say, “Come!” – a familiar passage from Revelation.

Traditional songs

“Litunga Lyatate” is also a traditional song, but this one was accompanied by traditional instruments too, namely drums, xylophone, and triangles. The vocal range of the singers was inspiring. When they sang about the “Land of the Father” their emotion was tangible. There was also some music from the western world, namely two works by Mendelssohn. These were sung in English—and by heart! The notes, some of which were very long, were most impressively built up. Our highest compliments! And of course, the performances also included a hymn in French—in honour of the Chief Apostle, naturally.

The children’s choir inspires listeners

And then it was time for the children’s choir. It took some time for the approximately 180 choir members to leave the stage, so the piano played a few songs in the meantime. But it almost took longer for the children to take the stage—because there were over 200 of them! What a presence! They were all dressed in black with white T-shirts, and sang powerfully, impressively, enthusiastically, and without any vocal difficulty whatsoever. They performed everything by heart, without any books at all. Their two hymns were concluded with a performance of “Take my heart”, which featured a duet by two young girls. The young choir leader of the group also mastered her task fabulously! Their departure from the stage was rewarded with quiet applause: the listeners waved with their hands.

But it was a modern piece that garnered the greatest acclaim: a young soprano soloist enthused everyone in the audience with her performance of “Go and light the world”, to the accompaniment of the piano. The audience was silent. The mood was quiet, but filled with great emotion. “Take your candle – go, light the world!”

How did the Chief Apostle say it in his closing words of thanks? A typical Zambian concert. Great!

You can find everything concerning the Pentecost 2015 celebration in Zambia in the Pentecost folder.

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