Department of Music
Sub-Saharan Africa Commissioning Project
In the Fall of 2016, the Morehouse College Music Department issued a call for early-career Nigerian composers to submit applications for consideration. This project builds on the Morehouse College Glee Club’s reputation of performing African choral music under the direction of Wendell Whalum, Uzee Brown, Jr., and David Morrow.
In December 2016, Jude Nwankwo was selected as the inaugural recipient of the award. Mr. Nwankwo is a Lecturer of Music at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Mr. Nwankwo was commissioned to write a three- to five-minute piece for TTBB (male-voice) choir on secular themes in one of Nigeria’s roughly 500 languages. He selected the Yorùbá language and the title of the new work is “Ìyá Mi” (My Mother).
The premiere of “Ìyá Mi” took place Friday, March 31 at 7 P.M. in Morehouse College’s Ray Charles Performing Arts Center. This occured during the 2017 meeting of the National Association for the Study and Performance of African-American Music (NASPAAM), a national conference hosted at Morehouse College.
View the performance here.