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Fowler Center Presents Award-Winning Moipei Quartet from Kenya, Feb. 22


JONESBORO – The next act featured in the Riceland Distinguished Performance Series at Arkansas State University’s Fowler Center is the award-winning Moipei Quartet from Kenya, Saturday, Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in Riceland Hall.

Opening the show will be Ancestral Drummers of the Congo. The show sponsor is Sodexo.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the previously announced Kenyan Boys Choir is not available for this performance. The Ancestral Drummers of the Congo is a replacement for the presentation at A-State, according to Dr. Wendy Hymes, director of Fowler Center.

The members of the Moipei (pronounced “Moy-pay”) Quartet are the Moipei triplets Mary, Martha and Magdalene and their younger sister Seraphine.  Mary sings soprano, Magdalene deep alto, Marta is second soprano and Seraphine alto. At the ages of 17 and 19, they have already been singing and performing for more than a decade. They have represented Kenya in a number of international events in Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, China, South Korea, Canada and Venezuela.

In 2006, the girls were appointed the first UNICEF Child Cultural Ambassadors in Kenya and since then won the prestigious SABC Crown Gospel Music Award in Durban, South Africa, for “Best of Africa.” Known for their knowledge of a wide variety of music styles, the quartet performs classical, African, opera, gospel and pop.

The quartet was featured at the inauguration for the Kenyan president last April. Now the group is on its first U.S. concert tour with stops in New York, Memphis, Jonesboro, Dallas, San Antonio, St. Louis, and Chicago.

The siblings’ musical talent was evident early in life. “Our parents discovered our talents when we were two and three years respectively. They tell us they hummed a tune and we hummed back.” Besides their vocal talents, the girls each play instruments including flute, saxophone, violin and clarinet.

 Their father is their vocal coach and has been a great influence in their lives. The girls are quick to acknowledge the selflessness of their parents. “They have sacrificed a lot to see us where we are today.”

Joining the Moipei Quartet is Congolese master drummer and dancer Chief Bokulaka.  Bokulaka will share his one-act show, “Ancestral Drummers of the Congo,” an awe-inspiring and highly interactive drumming tradition from his native Congo and the Central Africa region.  According to Hymes, the audience will be enthralled by the show’s eclectic mix of high-octane drumming, vivid costumes, and beautiful music.

All seating is reserved. Individual tickets for the Riceland Distinguished Performance Series are $30 and $20 for adults, and $23 and $15 for senior citizens and students, $24 and $16 for ASU faculty and staff, and $10 and $6 for ASU students with a current ID. Group discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. Season tickets are also available and offer a savings of 20 - 30%.

Tickets may be purchased at the Central Box Office in the Convocation Center, 217 Olympic Drive, or by calling (870) 972-ASU1 or toll-free at (888) ASU-FANS. Tickets are also available online from the Central Box Office (http://www.astate.edu/a/tickets) and from Fowler Center (www.yourfowlercenter.com).

For more details, contact Dr. Hymes at Fowler Center, whymes@astate.edu or (870) 972-3471.

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Moipei Quartet