Onyeka Onwenu, Others Applaud Outstanding Performances of Hymntestants… Six on Probation this Week
Ace musician, Onyeka Onwenu has applauded hymntestants (contestants) for their outstanding performance during the Hymnodia entertainment reality TV show where six have been placed on probation for next week episode.
Onwenu, who is one of the Judges of the programme said the talent displayed at last week’s show that ran under the theme Halleluyah, commended the commitment of the Hymntestants and said each effort would contribute towards reviving the culture of hymns rendition in the country.
Other Judges on the panel of Hymnodia (Stanza 5) included Dupe Ige Kachi, singer, songwriter and voice coach; Seun Owoaje, pianist, composer and former music lecturer; Sunday Olawuwo, music director of Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja, Lagos; and Benneth Ogbewi, Dean of the Hymnstitute.
Onwenu, who had earlier interacted with the hymntestants during the St. Valentine’s Day, affirmed that the confidence displayed during the show could be attributed to what was taught at the Hymnstitute.
After the performances, the judges voted for Abigail Nnadi and Olumide Dada as having the top 2 performances on the night and listed 6 hymntestants for probation. The hymntestants on probation this week are Rachael Darley, Olulode David Ayodeji, Edukugho Jemine, Uduakobong Akpan, Rioja “Rio” Peter Opia, and Onwukwe David. Incidentally, two of the hymntestants on probation, Rioja and David, were the outstanding performers of the preceding week
The theme for the stanza was Halleluyah and hymns rendered included The Strife is O’er, Man of Sorrows, Lord Enthroned in Heavenly Splendour, Halleluyah Halleluyah Halleluyah, Low in The Grave He Lay, etc.
Eulogising Opia after the rendition of the hymn Man of Sorrows, Kachi, popularly known as Ige Sings, said: “You were like an angel giving us the best tones.”
Onwenu affirmed: “You were full of confidence, very sure of yourself, you did well.”
When Nnadi delivered Lord Enthroned in Heavenly Splendour, Olawuwo said she took the audience to another realm, Kachi said she communicated perfectly in the high notes, while Onwenu remarked that her performance was marvellous.
Commenting on the hymn Low in the Grave He Lay by Mobolanle Oladimeji, Olawuwo said it was fantastic, commending her improvisation and style in the second verse, while Onwenu noted that her voice trailed the hymn to the end as evident in a good performance.
However, before the commencement of the night’s performance, Agu Blessing Ulunma and Abiodun Aribo, who would have been hymnvicted (eliminated) following their probation, battled for a slot to remain at the Hymnstitute. Blessing outwitted Aribo in a performance adjudged as excellent. The two combatants had the least votes for the week but had a lifeline because Enenche (hymntestant number 1) had his admission into the contest deferred for one year to enable him to write his final exams in medicine at the University of Abuja.
Organisers of the fast-rising show announced that elimination from the show, called Hymnviction, is by public votes and the process is audited by the reputable firm of Gbenga Badejo & Co.
They assured also that the winner of Hymnodia will emerge at the grand finale in April 2019 to receive the Asaph (a specially designed award named after David’s chief musician), a brand-new car and cash prize of N5 million.
Hymnodia, which would be an annual event, is shown for one hour every Sunday on Lagos Television (Channel 256 on DSTV, Channel 90 on GOtv and Channel 118 on Startimes) with a magazine show on same channels on Thursday evening. It is also streamed live online via the LTV App available on the app store and on the dedicated YouTube Channel Hymnodiahq.