Harambee A Cappella rehearses weekly on Sunday evening in Collingwood.
Harambee A Cappella's History
Harambee is an a cappella choir from Melbourne, and was founded in 2002 by inaugural Musical Director Sarah Patterson and a group of friends studying music teaching together at university. The name "Harambee" means "in the spirit of togetherness" in Swahili.
In Harambee's early years, the repertoire sung was a variety of music from around the world. In 2006, Harambee advanced to the State Finals of the ABC Classic FM “Choir of the Year” competition, which was broadcast live all over Australia.
In 2008, Harambee participated in Channel 7's "Battle of the Choirs", and absolutely loved the experience. We were thrilled to advance to the Grand Final, and placed 3rd overall in the competition.
In June / July 2009, Harambee decided to embark on a “Friendship Tour” after their experience on Channel 7’s “Battle of the Choirs” in 2008. Being on "Battle of the Choirs" really was a very inspiring experience for all the members of Harambee, and every member of the choir believes that they grew and developed as performers. New friendship were formed with other choirs and bonds strengthened within the choir. The TV show was also influential in the musical direction that Harambee has decided to take. Since appearing on the show, the members of Harambee have focussed on performing and arranging music in a more popular style and their concerts are filled with original arrangements of many of their favourite songs.
In March 2009, the singers in Harambee were privileged to work with contemporary a cappella expert, Deke Sharon, from the USA whose advice was invaluable and very inspiring. Harambee’s performances are characterised by an obvious enjoyment in every singer, and every song is delivered in an entertaining style.
Harambee prepares two major concerts each year, and we also enjoy performing in festivals and eisteddfods. For three years running, 2004 - 2006, and in 2009, Harambee was awarded 1st place in the Boroondara Eisteddfod A Cappella Choral section, and in 2008 were awarded 1st place in the Waverley Eisteddfod (where we performed as a combined choir with Suara). Harambee has also performed for sell-out audiences in our concerts at the Kingston Arts Centre, Holy Redeemer Hall and the Box Hill Community Arts Centre for the past five years.
In 2010, Harambee was excited to welcome long-time member, Jane Patterson, into the position of Musical Director. In July of that year, they formed part of the "core choir" at the Festival of Voices in Hobart, in the Contemporary A Cappella Choir workshop stream with Austin Willacy (USA) and then returned to Melbourne to launch their first Acappella Pop album - 'In Your Head'.
In 2012 and 2013 Harambee travelled to Canberra and competed in the National Choral Eisteddfod. Harambee was honoured to have the talented Carena Khoo act as Musical Director for 2013. In that same year Harambee held its first Trivia Night, a fun and successful event that will also be held in 2014. In 2014 Harambee welcomed Franca Ross as Musical Director and introduced the idea of having a yearly theme, which the choir has embraced.
2015 was a year of changes for Harambee A Cappella, welcoming the wonderful Amy Bandeira into the role of Musical Director. Harambee A Cappella participated in several Eisteddfods as well as AusAca 2015. The choir also performed at Glen Waverley's Spring music fest and performed Christmas music at Cafe Vita Et Flores to mark the end of the year.