Ekwueme, Ben, Aina, Nwankwo to perform at CDM’s silver jubilee concert
Four music tutors are among the numerous stars billed to perform at the Christmas carol and 25th anniversary concert of Chorale De La Magnifique Nigeria (CDM) on Friday, December 7, 2018 in Abuja.
The concert themed ‘Christmas@25’ will be used to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the choir formed in 1993 by Ike Eseka and his fellow choristers.
According to Eseka, the group is “celebrating 25 years of God’s favour and musical excellence,” adding that the presidential candidate of National Interest Party (NIP), Eunice Atuejide, who was once a CDM member, will grace the event.
Expected at the concert is a cocktail of various music genres from the choir’s repertoire, including sacred songs, spirituals, motets, jazz, folk, highlife and African indigenous songs.
Music Director of Project Fame West Africa, Ben Ogbeiwi, also known as ‘Uncle Ben,’ music tutor at Lagos State University (LASU), David Aina, and music lecturer at University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Jude Nwankwo, will be on Radio House stage of National Press Council (NPC), Abuja, to spice up the CDM concert that starts by 6pm. The trio, who used to be active members of CDM, also sings and plays the organ.
But musicologist and the director of Laz Ekwueme Chorale (LEC), His Majesty, (Prof.) Lazarus Ekwueme, will be honoured at the event alongside founder of Jazzville (now Praiseville), Muyiwa Majekodunmi, and investment banker and Chief Executive of Vetiva Capital Management, Chuka Eseka, Mr. Walter & Dame Winifred Akpani (Managing Director, Providus Bank and Managing Director, Northwest Petroleum and Gas Company respectively) for mentoring and supporting CDM since its formative years.
Ogbeiwi, Dominic Malagu, Michael D’Almeida, Magdalene Akonnor (nee Ogbeiwi) and Patience Okeafor (nee Bello) are the co-founders of CDM in Lagos.
The choir now operates in Abuja, Lagos and Asaba, with plans for a branch in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
CDM is the major feeder choir to the LEC and other famous choirs. It contributed the largest number of choristers to the All Africa Games (AAG) organised by COJA in 2003 and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) same year. While Ogbeiwi is a seasoned musician and multiple instrumentalist, Aina is a composer and one of the best organists in Nigeria.
Nwankwo, on his part, is a composer, choir trainer and founder of J-Clef Chorale based in Enugu State. He is the inaugural recipient of the Morehouse College Glee Club Sub-Saharan Africa Commissioning Project.
However, it would be out of place to see Prof. Ekwueme singing a solo or conducting a piece at the concert, as Ike Eseka, the Coordinator and Music Director of CDM, was the assistant director at LEC for years.