To commemorate this year’s edition of the International Children’s Day the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON), hosted a children music festival on Saturday, May 26.
The exciting music festival, which is in its third year featured- arts and crafts, exhibitions, a panel of discussion by successful professionals and a fabulous music concert. In performance were: the amazing MUSON Junior Choir and other choirs from schools drawn across Lagos comprising- Government College, Lagos (Senior), Awaking School and Children International School. There were also solos and duets alongside other thrilling presentations that held the children and parents transfixed throughout event duration.
The MUSON Junior Choir is made up of children from all backgrounds within the ages of four and 16, and had its first appearance at the maiden edition of the Children’s Music Festival in May, 2016 with 25 children in total. The number has since been upgraded to 55 members and has grown tremendously in all facets under the directorship of Ayo Ajayi (Artistic Director & Pianist), Raphael Francis (Music Director & Facilitator) and Kehinde Oretimehin (Conductor) all members of the MUSON Alumni School.
Beyond the rousing ovation that greeted every musical performance, the panel of discussion was highly educative and interactive as well. It gave the platform to entertain questions from children who were curious to make diverse inquiries about how to broaden their career horizon and remain resolute in the pursuit of individual aspirations.
The five-man panel consisted: Capt. Nat Evuarherhe (Retired Pilot), Mrs. Opeyemi Oduwole (Head: Privilege Banking, Diamond Bank), Bayode Olawunmi-Treasure (Guinness World Record Holder for the Longest Reading Marathon), Dr. Olufemi Mobolaji-Lawal and the moderator. The children were no less dazzled by their personal feats and were enjoined to imbibe reading insatiable reading habit which is a vital ingredient for carving an excellent career path.
Speaking at the overstretched Agip Recital Hall venue of the festival, some of the choir members and participants expressed gratitude for such opportunity to showcase their God-given talents. “I am grateful for such wonderful opportunity” says 12yrs old Davina Crepi from a school in Surulere who gave an awesome performance of the song “Never Enough” by Loren Allred from the movie– The Greatest Showman. “I barely joined the MUSON Junior Choir in March this year, today; look at how far it has taken me.” She enthused.
“I am happy to have joined the choir which has exposed me a great deal. There are so many talents here and it is an open opportunity to sell your talent to the world. The festival has been fun. According to the panelists, “reading autobiographies helps to realise dreams,” Says Agwu Deborah who is also a member of the MUSON Junior Choir.
For participants like Obafunke Akinkungbe; it was a special experience to see her age-mates sing so well. “I love the way the choir sang and was so thrilled to see people I know singing beautifully well. I would love to see this again next year. I play recorder and piano”. She said. Ms. Ifeoma, from Apapa says “I love to be part of the choir next year. I sing well and the festival has been such a fantastic experience”. Angela says “I came just to see the festival and enjoy myself. My favorite song is Flashlight by Jessie J. The performances here today have been interesting. I would love to be here next year as well,” She concluded.
The organiser has the clear objective of raising young professionals who are thoroughly grounded in the understanding and performance of music. The vision is to be Nigeria’s iconic Children’s music group which will go on tours for performances and competitions within the country and beyond.