Prof. Wanyama Mellitus Nyongesa (PhD, HSC)
Founding Dean, School of Music and Performing Arts
Professor Mellitus Nyongesa Wanyama, is a holder of PhD in Ethnomusicology from University of Pretoria, South Africa. He is a Professor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology. He also holds BA and Master of Philosophy in Creative Arts and Linguistics from Moi University, Diploma in Music Education from Kisii College (Now Kisii University) and Certificate in Education (P1) from Mosoriot Teacher’s College.
On 12th December 2013, he was awarded Head of State Commendation (HSC) award, by H.E. The Fourth President of Kenya, Hon. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, at State House Nairobi, for exemplary service in Education, Research Culture and Musical Arts Education in Kenya, Africa and beyond.
Until his appointment as the Founding Dean, School of Music and Performing Arts at Kabarak University, he was the Head and founder of Music Studies at Moi University, Eldoret. He was also the Music Director at the same University.
He is a music educator, composer, arranger, choral trainer, dance choreographer and adjudicator of music and dance. For 26 years, he has taught music and dance at primary, secondary school and University levels. So far, he has published 36 articles in peer-reviewed and refereed journals and book chapters. He has also authored 3 research-based books in his area of specialization. Currently, he is authoring 5 books in which he is documenting his 80 music compositions and arrangements which he has composed since 1989.
In February 2014, he was appointed by His Excellency President Moi, Chancellor Kabarak University to chair the panel of music education experts to develop Kabarak University School of Music and performing arts curriculum.
School of Music and Performing Arts Profile
Kabarak University School of Music and Performing Arts (SMPA) was officially launched in August 2015 in a ceremony that was presided over by the Chancellor of the University, His Excellency President Daniel Arap Moi the second president of the Republic of Kenya. The construction of the School Complex was then commissioned and its completion and official opening coincided with the celebrations of HE President Daniel Arap Moi’s 92nd Birthday celebrations. The celebrations took place in September 2016. Mzee1 haboured the SMPA concept for over 30 years and therefore it is worth noting that the SMPA dream-come-true was Mzee’s personal initiative – an initiative that emanated from his passion and sheer love for music. It thus suffices to say that the SMPA dream-come-true was a befitting gift to advancement of church music education and musical arts education in general. The Church in Kenya, the Kenyan child and the general public can now pride in state-of-the-art music facility that is poised to offer world class music education and training.
The SMPA curriculum is market-driven and projects the School as unparalleled centre for music training excellence and instruction in the Eastern Africa region and beyond. The School now offers quality music programmes that range from certificate all through to doctoral studies. These programmes aim at equipping learners with relevant skills and expertise in the areas of church music education; musical arts education; music theory, composition and performance; music production technology; musicology, African music and ethnomusicology; all from a biblical perspective.
Situated in the cool great Rift Valley region, in a serene environment located 15 minutes away from Nakuru town, SMPA complex houses lecturers’ and administrators’ offices, classrooms, ultra-modern and state-of-the-art recording studio, amphitheater for live performances, a library and music laboratory. Besides the unmatched facility in the region, the School endeavours to establish linkages and working partnerships with other music institutions from within and outside the country. Currently, in partnership with Prof. Kimberly Carballo from Jacobs School of music, Indiana University, the school is the only one in the region that offers online classes in music performance practicals. In recent years, the School hosted Choral Ensemble from Malone University in Ohio US besides hosting a world-renowned organist Michael Koenig for a week-long music performances and workshops. The School is an examination centre for the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) besides housing the official contact address for American Guild of Organists, Nairobi Chapter. Over and above the aforementioned networks, the School’s founding Dean (Prof. Mellitus Wanyama) is the current President elect of the Pan African Society of Musical Arts Education (PASMAE) while his Assistant Dean is the current Acting Dean of the American Guild of Organists-Nairobi Chapter. In Kenya, the School works in close partnership with Kenya Music Festival Foundation (KMF), Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture and Youth Affairs, Permanent Presidential Music Commission, Administration Police Service Band and Tunaweza-Kimuziki (a US-Kenya Cultural Exchange programe –Kenya Chapter).
There is no doubt that the imposing SMPA Complex, unmatched learning resources, and enriching working partnerships and networks, the school is set to encourage, promote and enhance quality music education and research at undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels. The School leverages on these unsung attributes to churn out music products and skilled professionals that will effectively respond to societal and market needs while keeping the message of Jesus Christ central to the composition and training of musicians in the university.
School of Music and Performing Arts offers:
- Certificate in Music
- Diploma In Music
- Bachelor of Music Composition
- Bachelor of Music Production & Technology
- Bachelor of Music Church
- Bachelor of Arts in Church Music & Technology
- Master of Music Education
- Master of Music Composition
- Master of Musicology
- Master of Church Music
Dr. Wilson Ol’leka Shitandi is a Senior Lecturer and Associate Dean at Kabarak University, in the School of Music and Performing Arts. Currently, he teaches courses in African music and Ethnomusicology including; traditional African dance, traditional Instrumental and vocal music. In addition Dr. Shitandi teaches courses in composition, harmony and counterpoint. He is a former DAAD Scholar having undertaken research studies at the universities of Mainz and Hildesheim in Germany. Dr. Shitandi has earned an international reputation as an expert in classical drumming and Kenyan vocal music. He is an active choral conductor and is a strong advocate of community-based music making as a vehicle towards social change in Kenya. In this regard, he and other music educators from universities in Kenya and the USA have initiated a project dubbed Tunaweza Kimuzi –a music and cultural exchange project that aims at nurturing and promoting music talents through workshops, online learning, seminars and performances.
Recently, Dr. Shitandi was appointed Dean, Nairobi Chapter of the American Guild of Organist. Wilson has published in book chapters and peer reviewed journals with research interest in the areas of African music, ethnomusicology, musicology, hymnology, and choral music composition and performance. Over and above the aforementioned musical engagements, Dr. Shitandi sings, composes, and arranges African indigenous and national songs, and Euro-American classical music. Among his choral compositions are ten masses for mixed chorus in Kiswahili and English. He is the director of St. Cecilia Holy Cross Choir in Nairobi and a board member of MUZIKI for Africa and Utafiti Foundation, a member of Tunaweza Kimuziki (TK) Team. He is also a member of American Guild of Organists and Choral Directors, Pan African Musical Arts Education, International Council of Traditional Music, Historische Toenetrager Gesellschaft, and Nairobi Choral Music Society
Dr. Ernest Patrick Monte holds a PhD in Music from Stellenbosch University in South Africa, a Masters in Music Education, and a Bachelor of Education Arts (music), both from Kenyatta University in Kenya. Currently, he is a lecturer at Kabarak University School of Music and Performing Arts and couples as the Head of Music Education Department and School Examination Coordinator.He teaches courses in Music Theory and Music Education.
His research interests are in music and politics, music education, musicology, music history and cultural studies. His previous publications have appeared in journals, such as South African Music Studies (SAMUS), Social Dynamics and Kabarak Journal of Research & Innovation. Dr. Monte is a member of the South African Society for Research in Music (SASRIM) as well as the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA).