NASRDA celebrates Christmas, end of Covid
Hall of Faith Chapel at the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), in Abuja, recently, held a well-attended, end-of-year Carol Service, which organisers said was as indication that the COVID-19 era is over.
Introducing the programme, with many NASRDA administrators in attendance, Chapel Pastor, Monday Idebaneria Eromonsele, noted that this was the “first Carol Service since 2019” and expressed hope that the full house marked a “return to normal”.
Featured during the programme were the Hall of Faith choral and instrumental ensembles. The choir — under the direction of Simon Onogu — feted the audience to vibrant renditions of seasonal standards, with a bounty of soloist holding forth.
Go Tell It On The Mountain, for instance, saw Rigim B. Kefas, Kalu Samuel Ali and Solomon Davidson sharing the lead, while Francisca Eromonsele reigned in Angels From The Realms Of Glory. Gloria Olatuyi was projected in Oh Come All Ye Faithful, along with Ali.
Quite noticeable, though, was the choir’s tentative treatment of the famous Hallelujah Chorus, in George Frederick Handel’s Messiah (a Christmas staple) — possibly, it would seem, because the soprano section, doesn’t yet have sufficient depth.
“Our singers are devoted volunteers,” explained Dr. Solomon Okpanachi, Head of Choir at the chapel. “They’re all NASRDA employees, who sing for the sheer joy of it and out of fidelity to the Church. Even so, they do quite well. And we’re developing.”
Instrumental accompaniment, for the vocals, came from Hosea Agbu (trumpet), Victor Onyedim (drums) and Gift Ibri (keyboards). (Joseph Emmanuel Ogwuche, who doubles as usher, recorded the performance.)
Guest Minister, Bishop Dr. Godwin Emorinken, of Dominion Faith Christian Church, anchored a clerical contingent that included visiting pastors from Nigerian Satellite Communications Limited and National Biotechnology Development Agency.
After the offering—which Emmanuel Onwubuariri, of NASRDA’s GeoApps Limited, conducted — the Caroling programme closed, with a cake-cutting ceremony and the sharing of food.
“The cake,” Eromonsele later explained, in a phone interview, was mainly “to celebrate Christmas,” but also to mark “the end of a two-year, COVID-imposed hiatus, on our yearly Carol Service.”