Christmas Bonanza in Uganda

This year’s KPC Christmas cantata may not top the hilarity of last year’s presentation but it is still a fine indulgence. Those with a palate for rich vocal delivery will definitely enjoy this year’s instalment aptly titled The Call for Christmas. It is a call to partake of the finest music this side of the equator and by the end of the hour-long show you will agree with Marylin Skinner when she says the KPC choir is the best in the world. This is “haute” entertainment complete with Christmas carols that benefit from an elegant make over.

Patrons will not miss the traditional characters of the nativity  story one bit. Seeing Joseph leading a pregnant Mary on the back of a donkey looking all over Bethlehem for room at the inn would have been a little too clichéd. Only the heavenly host of angels make an appearance in the form of Watoto Children’s Choir and even God Himself would strongly think about auditioning these tots for heavenly choristers.The absence of Baby Jesus in a manger with shepherds and the Magi paying homage does not negate the whole nativity experience. Great music makes up for that enough to make purists agree that the church may also offer redemption to Ugandan music. Then there is the dancing, which despite being mostly exotic, blends well with the music. If hop-and-skin routines do not amaze you, the ballet will and it comes complete with a ballerina dancing en pointe (on the tips of her toes) like the ones in the quintessential Swan Lake.

That KPC went for a very modish presentation this time does not mean there was no room for good old church tunes of yore long before today’s musical instruments rendered the church organ an antique. Homage is paid to this signature cathedral fixture by way of a delightful Christmas carol rendition. The band is something else and what makes these musicians a very fine bunch are sessions like the Afro/jazzy instrumental piece they play while a tithe is taken. Of course all this is partaken of free of charge but Mrs. Skinner does do a bit of gentle persuasion in getting patrons to deep into their purses to offer their “most extravagant, lavish and generous gift”. But the greatest gift one could give is accept “Baby Jesus” as their Lord and saviour, well that according to Pastor Gary Skinner’s closing remarks at the end which KPC’s Call For Christmas is all about just in case they missed the big story and only got caught up in the fine music (that male a cappella was sublime), lights and the female choristers’ kikoy costume. The presentation ends on Christmas Eve with shows at 3pm and 5pm.