HOURS WITH THE MASTERS

GOODY BAMA CHORALE WINS MAIDEN EDITION, ARTISTES THRILL THE AUDIENCE, AS YEARLY EVENT KICKS OFF ON A COMMENDABLE NOTE.

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The Hours With The Masters Choral Competition may have come and gone, but the diminutive success recorded by the event will remain indelible in the hearts of many, especially those who graced the epoch making event.

Did I hear you say little drops of water make a mighty ocean? Well yes, those little drops will form a great sea soon enough and by the time it’s done, we shall be careful not to despise our humble beginning, for what we see now, is infinitesimal, compared to what we shall achieve. Yes! we can achieve even greater than interkultur, if we set our minds to it.

Let me Start by telling you about the Hours With The Masters Choral Competition and Art Exhibition. The idea behind the event is to further develop chorale excellence in Nigeria and beyond, whilst promoting arts and culture.

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To further raise the quality of Choral Music and to foster international peace and Harmony and in the long run, use the competition to strategically position Nigeria as an international Choral Music force and destination. It is possible to bring the whole world to Nigeria every year, to witness the best of Choral Music.

The event took place at the Main Auditorium of the University of Lagos and even though the venue was the best for such events, the same cannot be said of the location, which proved to be against us, as many concert goers who were willing to attend frowned at the choice of the location.
Let me clearly point out, that a better location will be chosen for the next edition.

The intention was to have Choral groups from Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic and other neighboring African Countries but as you know, the Corporate bodies in Nigeria will not sponsor you if you’re not a big brand. How then can the cub become a Lion? The organisers had to settle for Choirs around Lagos. Such was the frustration caused by lack of funds, which paid off for the defeat of the tag “International”. But we can look back and smile at the courage put in, to even dare to start an “International” Choral Competition.
We will not fail to appreciate the efforts of our fathers and mentors in the field, Sir ‘Emeka Nwokedi, Mr David Aina and Revd. Yemi Akinpelu, Master musicians whom as the saying goes, have sat down on a small stool and have used their elderly eyes to see the future that we wouldn’t have been able to see even if we climbed the highest mountain. They have written their names in the sands of time by deciding to be judges of the event.

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The Judges scrutinizing and collating results

The participating groups were; Goody Bama Chorale, Wazobia Voices, The Music Makers, Lagos Philharmonic Chorale, Zion Chamber Chorale and Nun Danket Chorale.

Goody Bama Chorale came first at the Competition, winning the Gold Diploma, while The Music Makers and Zion Chamber Chorale emerged Winners of the Silver and Bronze Diplomas respectively.

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Goody Bama Chorale, winners of the Hours With The Masters Choral Competition

I’ll like to commend the bravery of The Lagos Philharmonic Chorale, Nun Danket Chorale and Wazobia Voices for daring to embark on what proved to be a “herculean” task. I wish them better luck next time, as I call upon their Music Directors to upgrade themselves in the art of Choral directing and Choral training, in terms of aesthetics, volume, vocal blend and stage mannerisms. I thought it was quite ludicrous to see a conductor hold his copy on his left hand while he conducted with the other.

There were other side attractions at the event as Trombonist and Tenor Singer, Benson Utomi otherwise known as ‘Cigar’ by his teaming fans, alongside Fred ‘Duke’ Asuquo thrilled the audience with a rendition of the popular Italian Aria ‘O Sole Mio’.

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Benson Utomi and Fred ‘Duke’ Asuquo performing ‘O Sole Mio’

Iwe Kiko crooner, ‘Ranti Ihinmoya also sang the Nigerian National Anthem and then gave a performance of her latest single.

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‘Ranti performing ‘Iwe Kiko’

One of the stand out performances of the event was that of the Compere, Alex Osho. The versatile thespian and Professional events MC did a fantastic job, his eloquence and delivery was flawless. Alaba Akinselure also showed the quality of his musicianship as his Choir gave a good account of themselves with such a pleasant sound.

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The Lagos City Chorale proved yet  again why they are Nigeria’s most successful Choir on the international Choral Music scene with over 12 Gold and Silver Medals to show for it. They gave another breath taking performance to a resounding ovation by the audience.

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An old African saying goes; “May your road be rough” this saying implies that nothing good comes easy.
The Hours With The Masters Choral Competition has started small, in the next edition, there will be great improvements. The future is indeed bright.

A very big Thank You to Chika and Uwi of Wazobia TV, who didn’t seek for a bribe to help this vision come to fruition. We also appreciate Cool TV and LTV for the media support.

I implore stakeholders in the Nigerian Classical/Choral Music scene, as well as the Government, Corporate bodies and well meaning Nigerians to support this dream. If it reaches greater heights in the future, then the dream of putting Nigeria on the world map through Choral Music, rebranding and Making Nigeria a force to reckon with in world Choral Music would have been achieved.

K’anyi jikota nu!!

Ndewo Nu O!

Ifediora, Obinna Maurice
(Baritone)

30 Adenrele Street,
Egbeda Akowonjo,
Lagos, Nigeria.
(±234) 708-708-6669
(+234) 706-338-3135

dasuGarboi@yahoo.com
obislim.baritone@yahoo.com

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