BY ANOZIE EGOLE
The Agip Recital Hall, MUSON centre, venue for this year’s graduation party of MTNF MUSON school of music was filled to capacity with enthusiastic guests made up of music lovers, friends and relatives of the graduating students. Those who could not find seats in the hall jostled to get a feel of the performance from the aisles and the entrances all for the sake of watching the graduands, exhibit their mastery of musical instruments and vocal renditions.
It was indeed a very good opportunity for the graduands to demonstrate to the audience, some of the dexterous skills they have acquired after the rigorous music training for the past two years and they did not disappoint their teachers and parents as they set the entire guests scamping with their scintillating tones.
The show came alive with the performance of Chukwunomnso Diali, who specialized in Voice and Guitar at the music school. He performed Smile originally put together by a famous English actor, comedian and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin for his feature movie Modern Times. Chukwunomnso could not have chosen a better song as the very next morning he won the MTN Foundation’s award for overall best student at the graduation ceremony to his own amazement. His performance on the night brought him intermittent applause from the audience as he sang like Barry White in the frame of Michael Jackson.
The duo of Salome Ogbuani and Tolulope Onakpoya who were both voice major in the music school took to the stage and their rendition, “Lovely Night” which was originally composed by Jacques Offenbach, a German-born French Composer admired for his outstanding operas and colourful music which had powerful influence on latter day composers of the operetta genre. The audience were held spellbound not just by the vocals, but also by the near perfect rendition of the lyrics of the song.
The musical concert itself is a tradition started by the first graduating set of the beneficiaries of the Foundation’s music scholarship. The MTN Foundation scholarship to the students covers their tuition and text books, transportation, among others.
Chairman, MTN Foundation, Hamzat Ahmadu said; “Music is an integral part of Nigerian culture and it has power to unite our people just like football does. In addition to funding the activities of the Foundation, MTN Nigeria is an active supporter and promoter of the music and entertainment industry. Through the MTN Callertunez service for example, MTN has become the biggest distributor of music content in Nigeria. Callertunez has helped to reduce the impact of piracy by providing our artistes with credible means of monetizing their content. Dear students, there is plenty of room for the growth and opportunity in the music business and we look forward to watching some of you grow to become superstars.”. He said.
In the same vain, Director of the MUSON School of Music Mrs. Marion Akpata has this to say, “Music demands all skills from fields like engineering, law and medicine, among others. It starts from being able to read textbooks with accurate and precise comprehension to music reading with all its symbols and terms, which must be mastered at the early stages. Our trained musicians must understand the maths behind musical rhythms and the science behind the production of a musical sound both instrumentally and vocally. In addition to the training, there must be a God-given talent. That talent, can neither be taught nor can it be subject to exam malpractices, but could be nurtured and developed”.