MUSON festival 2019 beckons, Erelu Dosumu to headline my kind of music
The Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) is set to celebrate its 23rd yearly festival. With a lot of activities lined up, the festival promises to provide great entertainment to festival visitors. The festival holds from October 16 to 27 at Shell Nigeria Hall.
The festival, which started in January 1996, was first held as a ‘Mini festival’, and over the years, has become one of the most sought after events in the country’s culture calendar.
According to MUSON’s Vice Chairman, Louis Mbanefo, “the idea of a full-scale festival continued to germinate and blossomed into a plan to hold one-week festival, which would coincide not only with the third anniversary of the MUSON Centre, but also with the 80th birthday of our first chairman, and now patron, Chief Ayo Rosiji. Both events held on February 24.”
Called a ‘mini festival, the event held for three consecutive nights of varied concerts given by first class performers from the Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow.
However, MUSON concept has taken firm root. “From our aspiration some 14 years earlier to set up a modest society to organise concerts, it has grown into a centre of musical excellence, rallying-point for the realisation of artistic dreams and a social-cultural venue,” said Mbanefo.
Mbanefo said, “since that time, there has been an unbroken succession of yearly festivals, which have become the focal point of MUSON’s activities.”
He noted that the festival “has pointed the way to the path that MUSON is destined to follow, namely, to become a centre for all the arts at the highest level and the premier venue for the arts in West Africa.”
He said a major development since the festival first held is the MUSON Diploma School. Starting with the MUSON Basic School, which was pioneered by Mr. James Adekunle of blessed memory, the Diploma School was formed. It was nurtured and placed “on a high trajectory by the director, Mrs. Marion Akpata and her deputy Mrs. Edna Soyanwo.”
According to the Festival Planning Committee Chairman, Kitoyi Ibare-Akinsan, who reeled out events that will engage festival visitors for 14 days, “there will be a mix of local and international cultures.”
Aside from drama production, there will be art show, master class and art auction. It is tagged Music Meets Art, an art show, which is in partnership with Society of Nigerian Artists. Other scheduled events for the festival are, MUSIQUEST/ Youth Concert. The concert is the grand finale of the society’s youth music competition.
The major event of the festival is My kind of Music, a programme where the music of celebrities are shared with a live audience. Erelu Dosumu Abiola, Mr. Akinmolu Opeodu, with Mrs. Dupe Ajayi and Mr. Babatunde Ajijedidun will be the guests at this year’s show.
Other activities to engage visitors are Danjuma Festival Opera, Don Pasquale, and an opera by Gaetano Donizetti. The Chevron Festival Drama, Wat’s Dis All About, which is an adaption of Woza Albert by Toyin Oshinaike. Not forgetting the Cultural night, an international night of culture from Nigeria, Azerbaijan, China, Brazil and Colombia.
This year’s alumni concert is titled Igbeyawo. Also lined up is a piano master class by Rebeca Omordia, and another concert by Omordia and MUSON artistes such as, Louis Mbanefo, Joseph Oparamanuike, Tunde Sosan, Jude Olabanji and John Ayorinde.
On MUSON Day, October 25, set aside for the celebration of the society, there will be a concert that will feature the MUSON School of Music. There will equally be a Jazz Party, an evening of jazz music featuring MUSON Concert Band, Imole Ayo Balogun, Yinka Davie, Mike Ihkifa and Adijams Dance Ensemble. The festival gala concert will feature MUSON Festival Orchestra conducted by Walter-Michael Vollhardt, piano concerto featuring Rebeca Omordia and MUSON Festival Choir conducted by Emeka Nwokedi.
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