A Night of Many Crescendos as The UCH Sinfonia Choir Holds Classical Music Concert
It was a gathering of students, staff and alumni, as well as of enthusiasts of classical music and first-timers, at the UCH Sinfonia Concert which held at Paul Hendrickse Lecture Theatre, UCH, on Saturday, 26th February, 2022. The lecture theatre which was stretched beyond its capacity was helpless in containing the thrills as harmonious tunes mixed with excitement from the audience seeped into the air of the night.
The concert which is an annual fanfare held after a space of almost two years, due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic; it appeared that all the energy pent up during the hiatus was let loose during the event. The concert which was aptly tagged Realms of Harmony featured melodious renditions of popular tunes such as the UEFA Champions League theme song, Game of Thrones theme song as well as indigenous compositions that gave the meagre sound system a run for its money.
While recounting their experience, members of the audience found it hard to pick a favourite out of the performances when asked which was their favorite. “Everything. All the songs. I am encouraged to listen to classical music more because of how they performed,” said Feranmi, a 2k21 MBBS Student. This was corroborated by Mrs Ayeni, a nurse in UCH who said everything was awesome. Other first-timers like Oluwatodimu and Oyindamola who are members of 2k21 Physiotherapy class had to eventually settle for the UEFA Champions League theme song. In the case of Michael Adejumo, a final year student from the department of Dentistry submitted that his favourite kept changing each time the choir performed another piece. Another member of the audience, Mr Ayeni, was so impressed that he suggested that recordings of the concert should be made available for those who would like to relive the beautiful experience.
Several dignitaries and medical practitioners of high repute were also present at the concert. Among them was the Deputy Provost of the College of Medicine, Professor Fatai A. Adeniyi. While giving his address, he delivered an apology message on behalf of the Provost, Prof Olayinka Omigbodun, explaining why she could not make it to the concert. He thereafter praised the members of the choir for their top-notch performance. “They are a group of students who are nurtured and their best is brought to the fore,” he said.
In a chat with our reporter, the head of the planning committee of the concert, Miss Olarewaju Ajeigbe, who is a 600 level dental student described the event as a success despite the challenges and tight schedule. “While we were singing ‘Jomiloju’, I looked away from the conductor, which is a crime by the way in classical music. I looked at the crowd and I almost cried because I could see it on their faces that it was all worth the stress,” she remarked.
Dr Dayo Oyedun
The Sinfonia choir has been in existence since 1999 and it is currently made up of students from the department of Physiotherapy, Biomedical Laboratory Science, Dentistry, Medicine and Surgery as well as students from the School of Nursing. It is the brainchild of Dr Dayo Oyedun, a lecturer in the Department of Anatomy, University of Ibadan. In his comment, he had this to say: “We thank God for a beautiful concert. The concert turned out wonderful: the solo performances were on point, the choral pieces were well-executed. The only challenge we had initially was fund but we thank God our alumni came to our rescue.” “Mr lecturer” was his favourite performance because it is a new composition and the choir performed it well.
One aspect of the concert that will linger in the memory of everyone is the way indigenous relevance was woven into the classical taste. “Orin Uyin Awe” which was written in Ijesha language by Dr Oyedun would have taken most people aback as it explored the possibility of composing classical songs in a language different from the ones from the West. “Mr Lecturer” will always come to mind too anytime we come across a lecturer who knows his “stuff” or the one who prefers to do other “stuff” under the cover of shadows. Generally, the harmony from the realms the UCH Sinfonia took us to will live rent-free in our heads for days to come.