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At MUSON, the New Horizons classical, jazz continues

A four-part concert series titled ‘New Horizons’ featuring jazz and classical begins at the Lagos MUSON centre with a thrilling performances. Audience were more perplexed than entertained writes Agozino Agozino

Recent days at the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) Centre, Onikan Lagos, are proving very eventful, even more than the usual busy music schedule.
Recently, the centre hosted an engaging evening performance, featuring sensational soprano singer, Joseph Oparamanuike (aka Mr. Tenor). The event which also featured two other performers, Fatima Anyakeme, mezo soprano and a guest artiste, Ranti Ihimoyan, soprano, with Princewill Ubani on the piano, literally set the highbrow event centre aglow, as the performers showcased their prowess in vocal and classical music renditions.
The night of performances was served in two sessions bridged by an intermission. The session was largely made up of compositions by such masters as R. Rodgers, G. Bizet, F. Tosti, C Gounod, But, penultimate Monday, the ever-elite music centre gave music-lovers what they should expect this year, when it opened a four-part concert featuring jazz, classical, opera and African music. The opening of the show which was a celebration of a four-part concert series titled New Horizons, was witnessed by an enthusiastic audience that savoured every part of the event. The concert which began recently continues its run today with another performance beginning 6: pm.
MUSON said that, aside from giving talented Nigerians the opportunity to express themselves, the concert was aimed at popularising jazz and classical music amongst Nigerians, which was in line with its core mandates. The on-going concert, which holds every month, was initiated by Artisitic Director, Tunde Jegede, with the full backing of society’s management. The four-part series concert, which opened, recently, in Lagos, and happen once a month, will end in June.
General Manager of the MUSON, Mr. Gboyega Banjo, and Jegede told reporters that the objectives were in line with MUSON’s mission, which is growing classical music culture in Nigeria. Banjo said that Jegede, who was appointed last year shortly before the MUSON Festival of Arts, was an immediate hit on arrival and that what he is offering through the concerts is a sample of what he’s capable of.
“Jegede’s appointment was an immediate hit, as they say in music, in what he has done when we hired him. From our experience, you only have to motivate young people in this country and they will exceed your expectations,” Banjo said, adding that MUSON is not relenting in its efforts to take its kind of music to public places outside the centre. “We are actively wrestling with that idea. Given the geography of this country, it would be good for us to have branches or partners out there. What could happen is that we could replicate MUSON in Abuja or Port Harcourt – two strong cities to look at.
“Another thing is aggregating a critical mass of people in those places, they take the initiative and MUSON partners with them to establish it there or MUSON takes concerts to those places and it generates interests. Those things could happen in the fullness of time. It will be ideal, no doubt. Right now, we look as if we are Musical Society of Lagos rather than Nigeria.”

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