Church Choir

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Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.  Psalm 105:2

With the the support from the Church, the Choir, since it's formation in 1987, has been a vital part of the Congregational experience and continues to be excellent in their dedicated contributions to Sunday Worship.
In the past thirty (30) years, the Choir has had many incredible celebrations by the Grace and Mercies of the Almighty God. Glory be to His Holy name!
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Mr. Kwame Afrifa
Music Director/Organist
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Mr. Frank Adu Poku
Assistant Music Director

The idea of forming the church choir in the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, New York, originated from Dr. Amo Gyamfi on August 6, 1987. After consultation with Rev. Dr. Francis Kumi Dwamena and Mrs. Margaret Ohemeng, the choir was formally started on August 8, 1987. The first meeting took place at 191 Willoughby Street, Apartment 9N, Brooklyn, the residence of Dr. and Mrs. Amo Gyamfi.  Weekly choir practices were held at this location for a while.

The Members who started were as follows:

  1. Dr. Enoch Amo Gyamfi
  2. Mr. Eric Sarpong
  3. Mrs. Agnes Gyamfi
  4. Nana Ahenkora
  5. Mrs. Thelma Quaye-Annan
  6. Mrs. Agnes Boakye Bempah
  7. Mr. Kofi Ahenkora
  8. Mrs. Amma Amponsah
  9. Ms. Evelyn Koranteng
  10. Mrs. Georgina Ansah
  11. Mrs. Adelaide Agyemang.
Mr. Prince Adu Boateng was later introduced as the first Choir Master upon the recommendation of Mrs. Georgina Ansah and Mrs. Amma Amponsah. Prince as he was popularly called, took up the challenge with much enthusiasm, and even gave up his second job to enable him to do more for the Choir. To ease transportation problems, the venue for Choir practices was later changed from Brooklyn to 310 Convent Avenue, Manhattan, the residence of Rev. Dr. Francis Kumi Dwamena.

The first Choir robes were purchased through voluntary contributions by the choristers themselves. Dr. Steven Agbenyegah, the Church Organist and Rev. Dr. Obiri Addo, also a member of the Choir, helped untiringly to foster the growth of the choir. It is significant to note that the choir participated fully in the ordination of Rev. Dr. Francis Kumi Dwamena by the Rt. Rev. D.A. Koranteng on May 28, 1988.

The Church Choir was dedicated in their new choir robes on Sunday, October 28, 1990 at the Broadway Presbyterian Church, 610 West 114 St., New York. The guest preacher was Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts, the Executive Minister of the Abyssinia Baptist Church, New York. He was assisted by Rev. Dr. Francis Kumi Dwamena, the resident Pastor of Presbyterian Church of Ghana in New York. There were twenty five (25) total membership at the dedication.

However, the Choir disintegrated soon after the dedication, due to various forms of misunderstanding between some members. By the grace of God, and through the effort of some members, including Ms. Janet Asiedu, Mrs. Grace Mensah and Mr. Kofi Ahenkorah, things normalized and the choir resumed its usual performance at Church services. Mr. Osei Boateng of the “Yesu ka wo ho” fame, became the Choir Master and also the Church Organist in June 1992, after being introduced by Mr. Duah Agyemang. This begun a new era in the performance of the choir, as Mr. Osei Boateng taught a series of songs including his own compositions, and members also grew tremendously to about eighteen (18).

An Interim Executive Committee was formed in 1995, made up of the following people:

  • Mr. James Boateng Addo----President
  • Mr. Seth Ofosu-Somuah---- Secretary
  • Mrs. Mary Adu Sarkodie---- Treasurer
  • Ms. Janet Asiedu---- Choir Mother
  • Mr. Festus Lartey (DECEASED)---- Robes Keeper

Mr. George Kofi Ayeh (of blessed memory) took over from Mr. Osei Boateng as the Music Director as of 1996, and Mr. Ayeh also did his part to help maintain the growth and discipline in the Choir.
Election of 1st Executive members took place in 1998, and six Patrons were also appointed.

The 1st Elected Executives were:

  • Mr. James Boateng Addo---- President
  • Mr. Seth Ofosu-Somuah---- Secretary
  • Mrs. Mary Adu Sarkodie---- Treasurer
  • Ms. Janet Asiedu---- Choir Mother
  • Oheneba Amponsah----Chaplain
  • Mr. Prince Boateng---- Assistant Music Director
  • Mr. Festus Lartey(DECEASED)---- Robes Keeper.

The 1st Appointed Patrons were:

  • Mr. Eugene Adum Kwapong
  • Nana Kwaku Boakye
  • Mr. Robert Duah Agyemang
  • Mrs. Angelina Akiwumi
  • Mrs. Thelma Quaye-Annan
  • Mrs. Regina Asante
  • Ms. Afua Koram.

Membership & Challenges

The Choir celebrated its 8th Anniversary in 1998 and has since celebrated a choir day every other year. The current Music Director, Mr. Kwame Afrifa joined Mr. Ayeh in 2003 to steer the affairs of the Choir until 2006, when Mr. Ayeh finally retired and went to Ghana. The Choir membership then was thirty (30) made up of twenty two (22) females and eight (8) males, which includes Mr. Kofi Ahenkorah, one of the pioneers.

Over the years the choir continues to struggle in maintaining its membership. Nonetheless, we continue to be a vibrant musical presence in the church. Membership dwindled tremendously due to illness, conflicting work schedules and retirements. In recent years, our membership went from thirty six (36), consisting of eight (8) men and twenty eight (28) women; to a total of thirty four (34) on paper; of which twenty six (26) are active, two (2) non-active and six (6) seasonal members. Of the twenty six (26) active members, we went from eight (8) men to three (3) men and twenty three (23) women. Attendance is generally low, but members with alternate and flexible work schedules are able to regularly attend.  Moreover, punctuality is a big problem, which prolong our practice time. Instead of 5pm to 7pm practice time, we start practice from 6:00 pm to 8:00pm or later.

The 2019 global Corona Virus Pandemic affected virtually everyone and everything around the world. Due to covid-19, and mandatory limitations on social gatherings and social distancing, the Church was forced to close in March of 2020.  After months of virtual services, Manhattan was the first PCG in New York to officially reopen on August 19, 2020 with limited occupancy. The Choir resumed practice on October 3rd and robed on Sunday October 4th to dismal attendance.  The global pandemic further limited regular participation. However, as businesses and social activities are slowly opening up, there seem to be a gradual but significant increase in participation. We continue to struggle with male and young adult membership recruitment. But with all our challenges, we choose to celebrate the positive impacts we experience weekly.

In general, we visit and uplift our sick, comfort and grieve with our bereaved as well as celebrate the many blissful events such as weddings, birth announcements and milestone birthdays. We have active members who volunteer their time along with the executives, to make calls and visit members who are in mourning, confined to their homes, in hospitals, nursing homes as well as assisted living facilities. During these visits, we pray, present provisions, monetary gifts, and get–well and sympathy cards according to our welfare constitution. However, the pandemic and social distancing has especially affected how we socially interact with one another in a big way. So, we have not been able to maintain our visits. For the time being, large gatherings and active visits to homes and facilities have been suspended until the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Protection) and State Law deem it safe to do so.  

Patrons

We remain grateful to our fifteen (15) supportive Patrons. They continue to be committed and incredibly generous with their wise counsel, periodic financial support; and continually help us reach our annual and semi-annual fundraising goals. We are really blessed to have them!

Our Current Appointed Patrons are:

  • Mr. Eugene Adum Kwapong
  • Nana Kwaku Boakye
  • Mr. Robert Duah Agyemang
  • Mrs. Angelina Akiwumi
  • Mrs. Thelma Quaye-Annan
  • Mrs. Regina Asante
  • Ms. Afua Koram
  • Mr. Eric Sarpong
  • Mr. Seth Canacoo
  • Mrs. Comfort Canacoo
  • Mrs. Florence Lokko
  • Prof. Mrs. Mabel Asante
  • Mrs. Emily Abraham
  • Mr. Alfred Effah
  • Mrs. Stella Effah.

Current & Past Executives

 (2016-Present)
  • Mr. Robert O. Tetteh............ President
  • Oheneba Amponsah............ Vice President
  • Ms. Juliet Na-Dei Annan....... Secretary
  • Ms. Mercy Asare ................. Assitant Secretary
  • Mrs. Margaret Ako-Odoi ..... Treasurer
  • Mrs. Mary Adu-Sarkodie ..... Choir Mother
  • Ms. Rose Darkwa ............... Chaplain
  • Ms. Esther Asare ................. Robes Keeper

PAST EXECUTIVES:
We are eternally grateful to all our past executives, who work tirelessly in giving their time and resource to help steer the Choir forward. Your dedication, tenacity, perseverance and sacrifice are integral to the growth and many advances the Choir has made over the years. We thank you for your time, efforts and contributions through your service to God.

PRESIDENTS:
  • Mr. James Boateng Addo 
  • Mr. Robert O. Tetteh
VICE PRESIDENTS:
  • Nana Afwireng
  • Oheneba Amponsah
SECRETARIES:
  • Mr. Seth Ofosu Somuah
  • Ms. Margaret Ntiamoah Sah
  • Ms. Mercy Asare (Assistant Sec)
TREASURER:
  • Mrs. Mary Adu Sarkodie
FINANCIAL SECRETARY:
  • Mrs. Margaret Ako-Odoi
ORGANIZING SECRETARY:
  • Ms. Nancy Ako-Odoi
  • Mrs. Gifty Ablorh
CHOIR MOTHERS:
  • Mrs. Janet Asiedu
  • Mrs. Grace Agyei Akowuah
CHAPLAINS:
  • Oheneba Amponsah
  • Ms. Joyce Asare
ADVISORS:
  • Mr. Seth Ofosu-Somuah
  • Mrs. Georgina Firempong
ROBES KEEPER:
  • Mr. Festus Lartey (DECEASED) 
ORGANIZING SECRETARY:
  • Ms. Nancy Ako-Odoi
  • Mrs. Gifty Ablorh

Choir Masters/Music Directors

We are eternally grateful to our Current and Past Choir/ Music Directors, who work tirelessly in giving their time and resource to help steer the Choir forward. Your dedication, tenacity, perseverance and sacrifice are integral to the growth and many advances the Choir has made over the years. We thank you for your time, efforts and contributions through your service to God.

CURRENT DIRECTORS
  • Mr. Kwame A.A. Afrifa ......... Music Director (2006-Present)
  • Mr. Frank Adu Poku ............ Assistant Music Director (2019- Present)
FORMER DIRECTORS
  • Mr. Prince Adu Boateng(DECEASED) - First Choir Master
  • Mr. George Kofi Ayeh (DECEASED)
  • Mr. Osei Boateng
Activities
Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. 
Psalm 105:2

The Choir continues to meet every Saturday evening (unless otherwise stated) to practice and prepare for Sunday Worship. Besides providing choral music every Sunday and on special occasions, the choir also participated in the following events before and after covid-19 lockdown.

Ebenezer Congregation hosted the 2nd New York District Choir Conference from Friday, October 11th to Sunday October 13, 2019 in the Bronx. The theme of the program was “How to become a good Chorister.” The District Choir and District Groups participated in the celebration. On Sunday, September 15, 2019, the Presbytery hosted the Moderator, Rt. Rev. Prof. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante and the Induction and Thanksgiving Service for Rev. James Joseph Kumi Duodu, Presbytery Chairperson at Manhattan. The Moderator officiated and was assisted by, Rev. Dr. Samuel Ayete-Nyampong, Clerk of General Assembly. We also participated in the send off service in honor of Rev. Herbert Anim Opong (Presbytery Chairperson), on Sunday, July 14, 2019. The service was led by, Rev. Nana Yaw Amponsah Antwi and sermon by, Rev. Opong.
On Sunday November 25, 2018, Manhattan hosted the Presbytery’s farewell service in honor of Mr. Seth Ofosu-Somuah. He was the Treasurer for NAAP for twelve (12) years, after serving as the Choir President (OMF), Secretary and Advisor (local) for many years. The choir also participated in the District Inauguration of Calvary Congregation in the Bronx, on September 9, 2018. The program was officiated by Rev. Herbert Anim Opong and in attendance was the District Minister, Rev. Nana Yaw Amponsah Antwi.        
                            
We played a part in the Presbytery Consecration ceremony of nine Catechists on Sunday April 15, 2018. Among them were Manhattan’s own Catechists Samuel Boadu and our fellow Chorister, Grace Lomotey. The event was hosted by Manhattan Congregation in New York and officiated by Reverend Herbert Anim Opong, Presbytery Chairperson. He was assisted by the Presbytery Council Members.                                                  
We won first place and took home the trophy at the District YAF Musical Competition (PH HYMN 518) on March 31st 2018. The event was held at Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in the Bronx.

On March 4th-6th, we participated in the NAAP (North America and Australia Presbytery) Choir Conference and Gospel Music Festival in New Jersey. It was a showcase of good music and fellowship. The Manhattan Choir hosted the 1st Presbytery Mini Choir Conference on May 20, 2017. We also hosted the first (1st) District Choir Anniversary on November, 12th and 13th of 2016. We celebrated our local Choir Anniversary and Fundraising event on July 12, 2015. The Choir participated in and witnessed the Erection of North America Presbytery, on Sunday, May18, 2014 at Yonkers. The Officiating Minister was Rt. Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey, then Moderator of General Assembly. He was assisted by Rev. Dr. Samuel Ayete-Nyampong, Clerk of the General Assembly. For community involvement, the Choir was invited and performed at the Dwyer Cultural Center in West Harlem.

The Fourth (4th) Annual Delegates Conference was hosted by Ebenezer Church Choir in the Bronx, on April 23rd-25th, 2010. Regrettably, Manhattan Choir had to boycott the event due to internal conflicts. With God’s guidance, our Patrons and our fellow Chorister, Mrs. Gifty Ablorh, helped to resolve lingering issues and peace reigned once more. A day retreat of all local Choirs was held at Manhattan on January 26, 2008. It was a day of fasting, prayer, praises and bible studies. The 2nd OMF District Choir Conference was hosted by Manhattan congregation from April19-20, 2008. On April 20, 2008, the OMF District Choir was inaugurated. We celebrated our eighteenth (18th) Anniversary on August 9th, 2008 with Musical Night and Thanksgiving and Fund Raising Service on Sunday, August 10th. Most of our invited Sister Choirs were in attendance and performed.  Although the Church membership attendance and participation was disappointedly low. We took part in the 1st OMF District Congregation Conference from October 20-22, 2006 at PCG Emmanuel Congregation in Virginia.

From time to time, we send out invitations to and honor invitations from our Sister Churches and other denominations to participate in various annual and semiannual programs. We continue to participate in District and Presbytery Choirs Union Conferences and celebrate Choir day. Additionally, Manhattan Congregation continues to organize and host its annual Gospel Music Explosion as well as participate in the District and local Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols’ Night in December.

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Watch our 30th Anniversary Celebration video
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ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES:
Phone: (212) 222 2380
Fax: (212) 222 1960
Email: pcgnewyork1@verizon.net

WORSHIP SCHEDULE

1st Service at 9:00AM
2nd Service at 11:00AM

CHURCH LOCATION
259-261 West 123rd Street
New York, NY 10027

Calendar of Events

28 May 2022
05:00PM - 07:00PM
Choir Rehearsal
29 May 2022
09:00AM - 11:00AM
1st Service
29 May 2022
11:00AM - 01:30PM
2nd Service