It was an evening of excellence and celebration of the rare talents of five university-level students whose foray into classical music are beginning to pay them off. The event, the Musical Excellence Awards, organised by the Christopher Kolade Foundation,CKF, which aims at rewarding individual achievement, innovation, and creativity in the field of music.
Held at the Agip Recital hall of Muson Centre, Lagos, the evening kicked off with “Bless this House” by an Australian composer, best known for her ballads, May H Brahe which was rendered by a tenor singer, piano and choir director, Mbalichizi Chizuru who also recited the national anthem. Thereafter the MUSON choir, the performing arm of the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON), came on stage and rendered some of the familiar classical tunes.
“Italian Salad” by Richard Genee was the first in their selection for the evening, followed by “Vapensiro from the opera “Nabucco Verdi”, and “Ibike” by Derrick Esezobor, which the large choir rendered in a fluent and captivating manner backed by the brass section of the orchestra. Led by EmekaNwokedi, their performance ended, where University of Ibadan Choir’s started.
The choir, which was established in 1987, under the direction of Mr. Christopher Oyesiku, a trained singer and soloist of international repute came on stage armed with a wide range of repertory, ranging from Western and African choral art music to Negro spirituals and Highlife music. But the highpoint of the night was when the five award winners came on stage to perform Burt Bacharach’s “That’s What Friends Are For.”