As the church’s yearly mega choral concert recorded unprecedented success in the just concluded 2020 outing, there is a paradigm shift geared towards broadening the concert’s horizon. This move would incorporate other branches of the church in Lagos and in Ogun states, a move that expands the scope from a district affair to a regional programme.
‘Songs of Praise’, 2020 took participants to the seventh heaven with breathtaking musical performances for more than three hours on Sunday March 15th 2020 at the church premises in Yaba, Lagos. The congregation was enraptured at regular intervals to punctuate an amazing evening, in a comfy church auditorium, filled to its brim.
Organized by the Christ Apostolic Church, Yaba, the first edition of ‘Songs of Praise’ took place in March of 1998. Over the past twenty-two years, the mega choral concert featuring 400 voices has evolved, becoming a fascinating ritual for both young and old who look forward with bated breath to an upgraded edition each year.
Some of the highlights of the evening include choir performances like– ‘O thou deep love of Jesus’ (tune by Ebenezer); ‘Grateful’ (by Bidemi Oyesanya); traditional songs like— ‘Jesu to Fiyan’ (by Muyiwa Akintola); ‘Dodimu (by Yemi Akinpelu); ‘Baba E Seun’ (by Peter Ajayi); and negro spirituals like— ‘My way is cloudy’ (by Fela Sowande). Others are— contemporary songs like ‘You are the living word’ (by Fred Hammond and Noel Hall) and captivating solo renditions. ‘Here I am to worship (by Tim Hughes) served as the introit, among other unforgettable melodies.
The chairperson, Mass choir planning committee, Deaconess Folashade Jacobs expressed satisfaction over the huge success of the 2020 edition. She ascribed the glory to God and the unwavering commitment of the choristers and the church members in general. “I give God all the glory, all the honor and adoration. It has been a great outing this year.” She said.
Mrs. Jacobs also spoke excitedly about the paradigm shift in the subsequent edition of ‘Songs of Praise’ as it has now been expanded in scope and content moving beyond a district-coordinating-center event to a broader, regional affair, beginning from the 2021 version.
“The climax of it is that we are handing over”. She revealed. “Songs of Praise’ is now graduating from a district coordinating centre to a regional programme which is being handed over to the Akinyele region. This entails that all the regions under Akinyele (choirs from Lagos and Ogun states), unlike before, when the event was for Lagos state only. In the past 23 outings, the momentum has not waned because God has been there and like what the preacher said, ‘it’s good to praise the Lord’ When you sing you are praising God, and in that way, you are counting your blessings both what you have and what you are expecting and that are what has kept the momentum.” She concluded.
Pastor Tope Dada (director of music, Christ Apostolic Church, worldwide) equally spoke enthusiastically about the high standard of this year’s programme. In awe of the planning committee members’ dedication, he said it’s the grace of God that makes all things possible. “By the grace of God, my colleagues in the choir made this edition of ‘Songs of Praise’ a wonderful experience”. The director of music noted.
He emphasized that to achieve such remarkable feat required proficiency and absolute commitment. He said “to put together 400 voices from various backgrounds and various assemblies, whose level of trainings differ, putting them together to give this quality presentation, takes a whole lot of efforts. I think this is a very special outing. This program is at its peak and I believe that is one of the reasons why the district coordinating centre wants it transferred to the region so we can move to the next level. I give kudos to the leaders of the choir for a job well-done. Pastor Dada concluded.
The music director Akinyele region, elder Adekunle Bidemi Oyesanya (SAN), while acknowledging what it took to piece such a magnificent outing together, said the huge success was only possible because God had a hand in it. “This year’s ‘Songs of Praise’ has been beyond our expectation” he began. “It goes to buttress that whatever God has a hand in always turns out successful. God was in the planning and in the execution. It has turned out well; attendance was fantastic, renditions fantastic, to the glory of God.”
Earlier in February, Christ Apostolic Church, Yaba, announced an amazing lineup of events to commemorate its 80th anniversary. The 80th anniversary planning committee under the chairmanship of HRM Oba Akinola Oyetade Akinrera, latiri 1, Olubosin of Ifetedo Kingdom reeled out several events that would run throughout the four quarters of the year. ‘Songs of praise’ is one of the highpoints of the 80th anniversary. A one-day Free Medical Checkup for all and sundry is next in line and it is scheduled to take place on March 22nd at the church premises in Yaba.