Preeminent Nigerian Choral Conductor
by Godwin Sadoh
- #18076 in Biography & Memoir
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CHRISTOPHER OYESIKU dazzled the Nigerian elitist music caucuses with his extraordinary bass voice and God-gifted talent for well over six decades. His outstanding performances brought smiles, laughter, joy, and admiration to the faces of his faithful patrons, patronesses, and audiences. Nigeria has never seen nor heard anything like Oyesiku’s magnifi cent voice that is best described as bel canto and basso profundo. With this sonorous voice, he always leaves an impeccable and memorable impression on his ardent afi cionados. He has performed before the cream of Nigerian society, African nations, dignitaries, and indeed, the Royal Family in Great Britain. Oyesiku is a professionally trained classical bass singer, choral conductor extraordinaire, music educator, erudite scholar, concert promoter, concert manager, concert connoisseur, and broadcaster. From a period that spanned 1963 to 1997, Oyesiku single-handedly directed four magnifi cent choirs: the Lagos Musical Society Choir, the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation Choir, the Oyo State College of Education Choir, and the University of Ibadan Choir. He trained these choirs to perform at a very enviable lofty standard that always leaves their audiences screaming for encore at the end of every concert. Their performances were consistently eclectic, electrifying, emotive, joyful, impeccable, crisp, energetic, fl awless, and intercultural. This book succinctly introduces musicians and enthusiasts to the performance of classical music in Nigeria through the life and stunning career of Christopher Oyesiku. His repertoire, bass solo recitals, and choral performances are indeed the epitome of art music concerts in the country. In this book, we can see how art music is taught and learned, organized, directed, performed, promoted, managed, disseminated, patronized, and preserved by the elitist group in modern day Nigeria. In other words, the Christopher Oyesiku concerts are representative of art music decorum in Nigeria, with particular emphasis on the performance practices, and a mirror through which one could examine the ethos of this brand of music in twenty-fi rst century Nigeria.
GODWIN SADOH is a Nigerian ethnomusicologist, intercultural musicologist, composer, church musician, organist, pianist, choral conductor, and prolifi c publishing scholar with over 90 publications. His compositions have been performed and recorded worldwide. He is the fi rst African to receive a doctoral degree in organ performance from any institution in the world. Sadoh has taught at numerous institutions including the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
- iUniverse, February 2011
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