Celebrating with music

Worship Harvest Music team performs during church service. courtesy photo.

What you need to know:

Worship harvest choir will launch their fifth album. Anna Katusiime had a chat with the members.

It is always refreshing to listen to a new soothing gospel song. And it gets better if it is by a choir that is committed to producting of the finest local gospel music. Worship Harvest Music team, part of the Worship Harvest Ministries in Kampala, is where such talent is blooming and being nurtured.

They will release their 5th album - Celebrate on Independence Day (October 9). The 10-track album is a mixture of urban, African and classical upbeat style. Although their target audience is church folk, according to Lynette K. Nsubuga, a worship leader at the church, it is the kind that can be appreciated by anyone.

As a church, they believe they are strong on music. “As a team, we are encouraged to write songs. We had too many songs, therefore, we had to choose which ones we were going to include on the album. One of our desires is to release as many songs as possible that can be used in different churches for their worship,” Nsubuga says. “Most churches are filled with music from abroad. However, our desire is to grow locally since God has blest us with different talents.”

While the team has been able to fuse, so much that they complement each other, bringing diversity and creativity to the stage, members are also able to individually show off their talent as some have released their own albums.

On their music
Nsubuga released her solo album -Kyomu We in 2010. She acknowledges the team was part of her project. Such is the fusion in the team that has propelled them to grow individually.

No wonder the church was born out of musical roots. Originally, the music group known as Come Alive Ministries at St Francis Makerere until their leader- Moses Mukisa started a church. Now more than eight years old, the church has five different branches in Naalya, Kati Kati, Jinja, Entebbe and Gayaza-Kasangati, whose music team comprises about 70 people.

But Mukisa says only 25 people were selected on the album project because not everyone could be included on the team. It is this team that makes Celebrate worth listening to because of the variety of writers, with different skills and a unique soulful African rhythm.

“The music is written for easy listening and dancing to and with a message of encouragement. The production and recording is good. Majority of the songs are played on live instruments like guitars and keyboards,” Mukisa says. “My favourite is New Identity. Indeed all things are new and we walk by faith so it is time for us to reign in life,” says one of the listeners.

As one of the writers for Justice is Done, one of the songs on the album, Mukisa says he was inspired to write it because many people go to church but still feel condemned, so it is meant to encourage them. “They feel discriminated against, so they give up. But as a church, we love to tell people about God. So God fulfilled his justice,” he explains.

Although the album is ready for the audience, it has been more than a year of putting it together.

Nsubuga admits it has dragged on because members have their individual lives outside singing. “There were too many things going on in the church. Someone has to be assigned to follow up members. There are times we would go to studio and the power is off, or someone has travelled abroad. Some issues have been out of our control,” she says.

Despite such setbacks, the church’s vision – “Celebration, Connection and Commission”, kept the members glued and inspired them to release the album.
“As a church, we believe in celebration. Here, a believer should celebrate and connect to others out of love and commission, where they go to serve the community,” Mukisa says.

One-on-one with choir leader

As far as Lynette Nsubuga remembers, she has been singing since primary school where she was always in any drama-related activity but professionally, she released her first album in 2010.

“I used to write songs and rubbished them but my husband encouraged me to record. As members on the team, it is worthwhile that ministers take time to recuperate. Nsubuga wanted to release an album last year but was exhausted. “I reached a burn out and took a break between July and August. I was not leading worship. I have been serving for many years.

So, I needed to take a break. Many ministers don’t take breaks and as a result, their marriages suffer,” she says. I’m inspired by Darlene Zschech and Donnie McClurkin . I love Pastor Mukisa’s amazing ability coupled with simplicity to ably produce music that a regular person can connect with. With or without sales, money is just a bonus.

“I realised recording my album would get music to places unlike when I sing it in church. And, what keeps me going is my passion to sing,” she says.

At the event

Other songs on the album include New ID, Sirina Kilala, T
Other albums include Ajangala, Voice of Triumph, At your throne.
Two shows on October 9, 4pm and 7pm
Tickets at Shs30,000 and this comes with a CD.
The choir will also perform in Jinja, Entebbe, other churches, and universities and sell their music to radio stations and book stores.

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