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Bishop Abere Music Academy Celebrates Inaugural Graduation


Some youths, adept at the organ, treated guests to exciting organ recitals, on Sunday 17th December 2023, during the 1st graduation ceremony of their school, the Bishop Abere Academy, at the All Souls Anglican Church, Abuloma.

Several personages, includng the Rt. Revd. Enoch Atuboyedia – Bishop of the Diocese of Okrika, the Rt. Revd. TubokosimieAbere, Mrs. Ibifama W-Saya of the M. & G. Etomi Foundation, Dr Geoffrey Ebirien-Agana and author Prince Charles Ogan were on hand at the graduation to further motivate the youngsters.

Founded on 30th July 2022, to train musicians who can play various instruments, the school has started with the organ.

Sir Dr. Godfrey Ebirien-Agana, chairman of the occasion, in a light spirited opening remark, thanked God for the sudden appearance of the harmattan season which had put off the early December rains to favour the training course.

Bishop Atuboyedia gave a sermon, by which he filled-in the origins of the uses of instruments of music in the praise of God. He cited Exodus 15: 20 – 21, where “Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing”. Sounding off the point that there was no revival that took place without hymn singing, he prophetically compared the school’s modest beginning to a mustard seed that will grow into a large tree and bare many branches”. He concluded with the  clarion call, “People of God, let us sing to God’s praise with instruments of music”.

The graduating youngters, Master Elroy Amangabara, Master Ebenezer Omoruyi, Master Elmer Amangabara and Miss Tamunoseimiebi Princess  Brown, took turns to perform music by organ, namely, Four Elites, AMR 165 ( St. Helen’s), AMR 400 (St. Anne’s) and other classical tunes.

Guest speaker Sir Charles Ogan, in his speech, entitled, “Music: A Tool for Development”, reminisced on the conciliatory power of music during the “great strife at Okrika” between 2001 and 2009. He recalled how he and other well-meaning Okrikans “built a choir with boys and girls carefully selected from different parts of Okrika to form the Okrika Unity Choir in 2005”, thereby using choral music to forge unity and progress in the then factionalized Okrika nation.

Sir Ogan submitted that, if properly harnessed, music can develop tourism and create jobs. He cited Festac ’77 that featured 15000 musicians, and in recent times the Calabar, and the Osun carnivals as strong attractions of tourism.

He charged the graduands to go to divers places with their latent talent for society’s development, and payed special tribute to Bishop Abere, the motive power after whom the academy was named.

Sir Ogan’s moving  conclusion tapered off into a solo music entitled, “Bless this House”, which a vocalist, Aaron TamunobelemaAlibo, raised from the rear of the congregation, and sang, backed by keyboard, as he walked slowly on, through the middle aisle, to the embrace of the speaker.

Mr. NgeriAbere, the founder of the school expressed gratitude to his sponsors, M. & G. Etomi Foundation, and his supportive father, Bishop Abere, with remembrance of his late mother Mrs. Zipporah Abere, who in her lifetime had steadily inspired the Academy. At Mr. Nger’s request, a minute’s silence was observed in her memory.

Certificates were presented to the graduates, which they held and stood together for their images to be captured.***

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