School of Music and Media
Kabarak University School of Music and Performing Arts (SMPA) was officially launched in August 2015 in a ceremony that was presided over by the Founder of the University, His Excellency the late Daniel Arap Moi the second president of the Republic of Kenya. The School was later renamed to the School of Music and Media in May 2022. 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.