When elegantly arranged music performances, energetic musical dramas and panoramic cultural choreography come together in one grand location, you have the spectacle that was the Graduation Ceremony of the MTN Foundation Scholars of the Musical Society of Nigeria.
The 12th class of the MTN Foundation Scholars Programme graduated in a stylish concert and ceremony on July 8, at the Agip Recital Hall of the MUSON Centre in Onikan, Lagos that saw scenes cut out of a storybook tale.
The concert saw the students bring their wealth of knowledge, training and energy into thrilling an excited audience which included management staff of MTN Nigeria and directors of MTN Foundation, officials of MUSON’s School of Music, parents and guardians of the graduating students as well as music lovers.
The musical performances covered the entire gamut of musical genres. From the solemn Franz Krommer’s Concerto in E flat major performed by Jonathan Anuforo, Finecountry Epaenetus and a string quintet (a musical composition for five-string players) to Moses Hogan’s Witness, a booming negro spiritual meticulously delivered by Shallom Matthew on the tenor and Macpherson Aghah on the piano.
Funky beats had hairs raised when I Feel Pretty, originally composed by Leonard Bernstein was performed on the night by Chinwendu Okorie’s vibrant soprano voice complemented elegantly by Tunde Sosan on the piano. If I Were A Richman, a 1967 musical by Sheldon Harnick and Tony and Pulitzer-award winning Jerry Bock got layered with the Nigerian treatment courtesy of Daniel Etim’s baritone.
A crowd favourite was Victor Uwaifo’s classic Joromi reprised with confident mastery by Jackreece Samuel and Ajayi Babajide on two pianos. By the time the entire graduating class performed Hans Zimmer and Lebo’s prayerful ode, Shadowland, the audience was crooning and moving to their beat and cheering them on.
The concert was quite the experience. For these students who are the best of the best and have been supported by an MTN Foundation scholarship for the duration of their studies as well as the captivated audience, it was a stimulating evening where art was celebrated and genius was recognised.