Sound n’ Screen:How Lagos City Chorale Hit Gold In Germany
Magdeburg, the capital of state of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany was aglow with international music festival and competition from July 5 to 12, 2015. Over one hundred choirs drawn from 35 countries of the world participated actively at various levels of the festival, some in competitive categories while others took part in non competitive programme.
The aim of the organizers of the world choir Olympics, The Interkultur among other things is to foster peace among the nations of the world through choral music as the world choirs sing together. Magdeburg from July 5 to 12 was indeed a melting point for various world cultures.
About five thousand choir members from different countries and cultures co-habited in hotels and hostels, fed together at a central feeding point, had a very healthy contest in various categories of the competition, shared same stage in friendship concerts and cut friendship across borders and various cultures of the world in a very convivial atmosphere.
Nigeria was visibly represented at the global contest by a 30-man contingent of the Lagos City Chorale directed by Sir Emeka Nwokedi.
The group arrived Magdeburg through Leipzig Airport on July 4 and was lodged in a four-star Maritim Hotel. At the official opening ceremony which was held at Jonanniskirche, Magdeburg on July 5, Nigeria’s Lagos City Chorale was among five choirs from different continents specially invited to perform for a select high profile audience which included Reiner Haseloff, the Governor of the State of Saxony-Anhalt and Lutz Trumper, the Lord Mayor of the City of Magdeburg.
The performance was evidently outstanding by the reaction of the audience which gave a resounding ovation at the end of each song. Competitions started in earnest on July 6. Lagos City Chorale contested in three categories in the Open Competition – Folklore, Chamber Choir, and Musica Contemporanea (Contemporary Music).
Also, the Nigerian group, LCC performed in two friendship concerts. In all the performances, Lagos City Chorale exhibited rich Nigerian culture embedded in her indigenous choral music, traditional music instruments, costume and unique dance to the admiration of a global community that constituted the audience.
At the award ceremonies which was held between July 9 and 11, the Director of Lagos City Chorale was invited to the podium three times to receive a Golden Diploma Award for each of the 3 categories the choir contested in. In addition, Lagos City Chorale, Nigeria received a special Diploma of Honour for continued contribution to the ideal of international understanding and peace initiative through music.
The event was rounded off with a very colourful parade of Nations which started from Magdebuger Dom following the main street “Breiten Weg” to the market place “Alten Markt”. This really was an outstanding display of different cultures of participating nations. Lagos City Chorale showcased Nigeria’s national attire in a colourful green and white Adire fabrics.
They were the cynosure of all eyes with loud ovations as they paraded with other choirs along the streets of Magdeburg. As all the choirs gathered at “Alten Markt” at the end of the parade, the Mayor of Magdeburg, Lutz Trumper, once more thanked all the choirs for attending the European Choir Olympics in Magdeburg and bade them farewell.
The President of Interkultur, Gunter Titsch, in his congratulatory message to the choirs invited them to the next World Choir Games in Sochi, Russia scheduled for July 2016.
Lagos City Chorale’s participation in various global cultural festivals has been a way of rebranding Nigeria and showcasing her positive abilities at international stages.
It also represents Nigeria’s contribution to fostering peace and harmony in the world through harmonious choral music as Nigerian Choir sings in unison and in harmony with choirs from other nations of the world.
It would be recalled that Lagos City Chorale has over the years won Laurels (Gold and Silver) for Nigeria at various world’s largest Cultural Festivals/Choir Olympics.
These laurels were won at Cincinnati, Ohio USA in 2012; Graz, Austria in 2013; Riga, Latvia in 2014; and in Magdeburg, Germany, 2015. By this effort, Nigerian indigenous choral music has spread to all nooks and crannies of the world with a trail of positive notion about Nigeria and her people.
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