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Pa James Adekunle: Exit of an Icon – Church Organist Extraordinaire

By Funmi Johnson

Born on 22nd October 1930 to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Adekunle, James Adekunle was the organist and choirmaster of the Holy Trinity Church, Ebute-Ero Lagos since 1962 to 2019 (58years), till his death on January 20th 2019.

He attended St. Luke’s Teachers College Ibadan during which he won first prize at the western Nigeria competition for Original Music composition.

While a student in London, he was, for two years, organist of Harmony Methodist Church (1960 – 1962).

On arrival in 1962, he was appointed the Senior Programmes Assistant at the Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation, Ikoyi. However, he was re-deployed to King’s College, Lagos in 1963 where he taught music for ten years (1963 – 1973).

In 1973, he was redeployed to the inspectorate division of the Federal Ministry of Education as one of its pioneer inspectors and was head of the western state branch (Ibadan).

In 1976, he was transferred to Calabar as head of the Cross River branch (Calabar) and moved to head the Lagos state office in 1977 where he retired on 01-01-87 as Deputy Director of Education.

In February 1989, he was invited by the Musical Society of Nigeria {MUSON) to actualize the establishment of its school of music which was accredited in 2002 as being at par with any diploma awarding music institution in the U.K.

Nigerians abroad remitted N9trn in 2018, highest in 13 years

He retired from MUSON in 2005 after 16 and a half years as pioneer director. He was a frequent resource person at CHOPIN – Church Organ Projects In Nigeria Music seminars and workshops.

He was honoured with the Organ Grandmaster Award by LOOM- Lovers Of Organ Music. He was a Patron of Guild of Organists in Nigeria.

This music Legend of our time Pa James Adekunle -Organ Grand Master will long be remembered for his Contribution to Organ Church Music and development of the enviable Holy Trinity Ebute Ero Choir.

Mr James Adekunle was survived by his wife, children, grandchildren, and great – grandchildren. It’s hard to say goodbye, adieu to the Organ grandmaster.

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