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Music of Thursday, 25 March 2004

Source: ghanamusic.com

Ephraim Amu Foundation Launched

Dr. Ephraim Amu
The Ephraim Amu Foundation, which aimed at honouring and memorialising Dr Amu, the Renowned Musicologist, and promoting musical creativity in Ghana, was launched on Tuesday. It was founded in 1995 as a non-profit making organization to preserve, produce, promote, protect and market the works of Dr Amu among others.

Dr Amu, an ardent believer in the power of music as a medium of uniting all people, before his death in 1995, had expressed the wish for a concert hall to be built in his memory as a composer and in recognition of his contribution to the development of choral and instrumental music in Ghana.

Professor George Hagan, Chairman of the National Commission on Culture (NCC), said apart from being a nationalist, teacher, inventor and creative genius,

Dr Amu had a sense of cultural pride, which he dared flaunt at the peril of his job and survival.

Prof Hagan said: " He (Dr Amu) sought to separate the doctrine of Christianity from the cultural garb, baggage and garbage that the early Missionaries came with."

The Chairman of the NCC said these qualities made Dr Amu stick to his individual lifestyle-a lifestyle that projected simplicity of spirit, humility, courage, wisdom and respect for all, till his death. Prof. Hagan, therefore, urged all Ghanaians and well-wishers to support the foundation, adding, "The wealth of Amu's heritage is not in money. It is in good deeds. But it is money that can make the foundation a vehicle for translating Amu's vision into reality".

Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City, a close associate of Dr Amu, suggested an annual musical event in his memory.

He said during the event other musicians across Africa could be invited to create awareness on the love and passion of Dr Amu for the continent, and "at the end of it all we will all sing 'Yen Ara Asaase Ni' to honour him for what he has done for Ghana".

"There can be no greatness without passion and it is through his love and passion for music that makes his influence continue to live on".

Mr Kojo Bentsi-Enchill, President of the Foundation, the concert hall would be made a centre of excellence in musical production and cultural promotion.

He said the facility, when completed, would put African Music on the world map and greatly increase respect for the image of Africa and the African.

He, therefore, appealed to all music-loving people and the public to donate generously to the foundation to enable it to achieve its goals.

Dr Amu's excellent choral compositions were moving, patriotic and inspirational. His patriotic composition "Yen Ara Asaase Ni" (this is our own land), often hailed as an "unofficial national anthem" continued to inspire and kindle an awareness of nationalism.