Chorale de Kigali is a non-profit making organization founded in 1966. It obtained its legal personality in 1987 that was revised in 2011 by the Ministerial Order Nº 160/08.11 of 17/10/2011 published in Official Gazette Nº 18 of 30/04/2012.
In its beginnings, Chorale de Kigali was only composed of male singers joined by female singers later in 1987. The pioneers were Rwandan musicians trained in seminaries and other schools held by Catholic missionaries. The most prominent among them were Late Léon MBARUSHIMANA, Late Claver KARANGWA, Late Jean Népomuscène Gatarayiha, Fidèle NKURIKIYUMUKIZA, Late Callixte KAREGA, Late KALISA Callixte, Late Saulve IYAMUREMYE, Late Professor Paulin MUSWAHILI and Late Joseph MUTARAMBIRWA.
Since its inception, Chorale de Kigali has always had in its ranks a big number of Rwandan composers of choral music. The most renowned among them are Late Saulve IYAMUREMYE, Matthieu NGIRUMPATSE, Late Apollinaire HABYARIMANA, Dr Jean Claude BYIRINGIRO, Dr Alfred NGIRABABYEYI, Pacifique TUNEZERWE just to name a few.
Chorale de Kigali has performed in several events in Rwanda, including regular Holy Masses, prayers, concerts and many other cultural events in the country. The most memorable events where Chorale de Kigali performed are the 50th anniversary of priesthood of Late Bishop Aloys BIGIRUMWAMI celebrated on June 3rd, 1978 as well as the unforgettable Holly Mass celebrated by His Holiness the Pope John Paul II during his visit in Rwanda on September 10th,1990 at Nyandungu, Kigali City.
The choir was deeply shaken by the Genocide against the Tutsi of 1994, like was the entire country. Some choir members were exterminated, some fled the country, and others were incarcerated in prosecution for their roles in Genocide.
In the aftermath of the Genocide against the Tutsi, it took indescribable courage to the few singers who were remaining to put the choir back on its feet.
Despite the Genocide against the Tutsi and many other setbacks from internal and external sources, Chorale de Kigali never stopped working. This is thanks to the passionate singing members of the choir who have spared no effort to work hard and deliver music quality worthy of Chorale de Kigali.
Chorale de Kigali has considerable achievements. It composed and performed the hymns of at least 7 public and private institutions, realized 13 Volumes of audio songs, and organized seven large concerts known as Christmas Carols Concerts happening few days before every Christmas since 2013.
As part of opening horizons, Chorale de Kigali participated in regional music festival referred to as Music Beyond Borders (MBB) held in Kampala in 2010, and in Kigali in 2011 hosted by Chorale de Kigali in partnership with MINISPOC and MINEAC Currently,
adherent membership sits at around 150 singers with an age range from 17 to 70 years. They come from many walks of life; from all corners of the country, a range of occupations including students and both government and private sector workforce who join together through a love of singing.
Chorale de Kigali is based at Saint Michael Cathedral Parish and sings mainly sacred music. However, the choir performs as well secular music promoting positive values in the most widely used languages.
Chorale de Kigali celebrates its anniversary every August 15 of each year, a day that coincides with the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, in recognition of her forefront role in the Redemption of humanity.