History of St. Peter's Church Choir

Music is an inherent part of worship in the Anglican Church and as such the music ministry in Saint Peter's church (Faji), championed by the choir dates back to 1853, the inception of the church choir took up the added responsibility of raising funds in aid of the present church building in the year 1930 by singing carols and visiting members to collect donations to supplement the building fund.

It was at this premise that the annual celebration of the choir festival was instituted.

Festival was usually held on Sunday closest to St. Cecilia's day. The celebration was later shifted to the closest Sunday to St Peter's day, June 29th.

To avoid the torrential rainfall usually experienced yearly in June, the celebration was again moved to the last Sunday in October every year.

In 1930, a remarkable event that marked the turning point in the history of St Peter's church (Faji) choir took place:

The choir constitution was drawn to guide conducts, an organ was procured from Mr. Akin Oshin to replace the 1935 harmonium, the choir wore new robes and, for the first time, the mitre during the procession for the dedication service of the new church building.

It was also in the 1930's that the pipe organ fund began to mount from 1937. In 1952, Mr. Akin Oshin was succeeded by no less a person than Mr. T.A Bankole first in an acting capacity and later as the substantive choirmaster cum organist.

His appointment and tenure of office heralded what could best be described as a turning point in the life of the church choir and church music as a whole. T.A Bankole came to St Pete's church (Faji) after serving the first Baptist church for about twenty years in the same capacity.

He was a reputed composer of church music and held a higher certificate of the Trinity College of Music, London. In fact, the entire Bankole family was reputed and renowned as a family of gifted musicians.

1952 when the choir began to groom and admit female choristers, St Peter's church (Faji) choir had been an all-male affair, made up of treble boys and able willed men in the other three parts.

However, before 1894 and 1918 when preference for male choir rose again, T.A Bankole had established a force of some twelve female voices to reinforce the treble boys.

1954, the choir under the leadership of T.A bankole found it expedient to enroll as a member of the Royal School of Church Music, London. This further projected the image of the choir and indeed the church abroad.

Bankole's unique ability to compose songs elevated the church to greater heights and the church soon became the citadel of modern sacred Yoruba compositions.

Basically, T.A Bankole's soul inspiring and heart warming compositions were in two parts namely the first original and the second translation or pseudo original.

His original compositions include songs that had never existed which wordings came solely from him. Such compositions include:"(1) Ma yin Oluwa iwo okan mi (2) Niwon igba ti aiye ba wa (3) Egbo gbe akede oba wa" all composed and sung at the thirtieth choir festival celebration held on Sunday 29thNovember, 1964.

T.A Bankole's era came to an end in May 1968 after which Newton Oladehinde who was ably assisted by Dr. Christopher Kolade succeeded him. Pa Newton Oladeinde spent 18 years as organist and choirmaster after which he retired in January 1st1986.

Dr Christopher Kolade Became his successor on February 1st1986. He is unarguably one of the longest serving dedicated and conscientious organist and choirmaster St Peter's Church (faji) Choir ever had.

Pa S.O Johnson, a retired telecommunications engineer and musically gifted elderly man, later succeeded Dr C.O Kolade (CON) who was going on national assignment to Britain as Nigeria's high commissioner to Britain.

Pa Johnson was the choirmaster while Mr. Wole hicks was the organist with Femi Faroore and Sunday Yusuf as assistant organists.

The table soon turned again and Femi Faroore took over from Pa S.O Johnson as the Organist and Choirmaster assisted by Tayo Omogbenigun and Doyin Oshunkoya as assistant Organists.

Successive organists and choirmasters whose selfless service to God and deliberate efforts to raise the standard of the choir to its present enviable position during their tenure of office remain indelible in the light of time were Messrs J.B. Aboaba, D.A. Fabunmi, Chief Majek Akinloye, Chief I.S.M. Sotude, Remi Shyllon, Chief Akin Oshin, Pa T.A Bankole, Mr. E.A Bankole, Mr. Newton Oladeinde, Dr C.O Kolade (C.O.N), Mr. Leke Adebiyi, Mr. Toyosi Johnson, Mr. S.O. Ige, Mr. Wole Hicks, Mr Femi Faroore and Mr. Sunday Yusuf.

The duo of Messrs Tayo Omogbenigun and Doyin Oshunkoya are presently the Organist and Choirmaster, and assistant Organist of the choir respectively.

It is note worthy that St Peter's Church (Faji) Choir has a reputation for producing men of distinction in all walks of life ranging from practicing professionals in their chosen fields to clergymen of exclusive preserves.

In fact, the retired archdeacon of Lagos, Ven. B.A. Adelaja, Revd. Canon E.A Akinlade, J. Hughes, Justice Olumide Omololu all of blessed memory were members of the great choir.

The retired provost of the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Very Revd (Dr) Yinka Omololu, Revd Canon Yinka Akinlade, Revd S.A Orioye, Prof Abisogun Leigh (a renown academia and erstwhile vice chancellor Lagos State University), Dr C.O Kolade (a Business Management guru and former Nigeria's high commissioner to Britain) and the Organist and Choirmaster of the Cathedral church, Abuja, Mr Gbenga Johnson to mention but few.

A few members of the choir occupy lofty positions in government parastatals while others thrive in private businesses.

St Peter's Church (Faji) Choir, formally launched out in 1934, has been dynamic and vibrant with consistent development in every facet of church music as well as meeting the music demands of contemporary worship.

The choir has bridged the dichotomy between the ancient and modern styles of music, no wonder the past and present Arch Bishops of Lagos have reiterated their particular nostalgia for sung Eucharist as rendered (in Yoruba) by the choir

In fact the most Revd (Dr.) E.A Ademowo in his campaign for Anglican Pentecostalism tagged St Peter's Church (Faji) a dancing church: that of course is instigated by music supplied by the choir

At the annual choir festival celebrations outstanding choristers whose general performance had been observed during the year are awarded. The awards are in three (or four once in ten years) categories namely

(1) Punctuality and Regularity at practices and Sunday services

(2) Ayo Osinibi Memorial Award to the Best Chorister of the Year

(3) Claudius Ogunmefun Memorial Award for Discipline

(4) Long Service Award (administered once in ten years)

The Choir Friends association, a consortium of former choristers, choristers' spouses, parents and some ardent lovers of the choir, sponsors these awards with the exception of the Claudius Ogunmefun Memorial Award for Discipline, which is sponsored by the Ogunmefun family.

MEET THE MEMBERS OF ST. PETER'S CHURCH (FAJI) CHOIR

SUPRANO

  1. Sis. Moji Ladipo
  2. Sis. Eunice Olaleye
  3. Mama Aiyedun Abimbola
  4. Sis. Omolola Ogunberu
  5. Sis. Adewunmi Williams (Nee Adediran)
  6. Sis. Mojisola Daniel (Nee Amoye)
  7. Sis. Toluwanimi Aduloju
  8. Sis. Dadeoluwa Aduloju
  9. Sis. Oluwadamilola Bentil
  10. Sis. Sayo Simeon
  11. Sis. Mayowa Micheal
  12. Sis. Taiwo Adediran
  13. Sis. Ebunoluwa Sogules
  14. Sis. Bukola Green
  15. Bro. Oluwaseyi Ogunmefun
  16. Bro. Eniola Akinsuyi
  17. Bro. Adejare Akinwande
  18. Bro. Timilehin Ibitoye
  19. Bro. Oyelabi Oyelakin (Part Leader)
  20. Bro. Adeyemi Joshua
  21. Bro. Oladotun Bolarinwa
  22. Bro. Taiwo Adeleye
  23. Bro. Abiodun Adedapo Glover
  24. Bro. Oluwatosin Edward
  25. Bro. Temitope Green
  26. Bro. Olaoluwa Adesanya
  27. Bro. Ifeoluwa Adesanya
  28. Sis. Joy Oke
  29. Sis. Titilade Adediran
  30. Bro. Oluwakayode Oke
  31. Sis. Hannah Adegboye
  32. Sis. Gracious Mehinsan
  33. Bro. Dayo Odefadehan
  34. Sis. Iyabo Sonubi
  35. Bro. Oluwaseyi Olaleetan
  36. Sis. Caroline Adewunmi
  37. Bro. Oluwanimife Ogunberu
  38. Sis. Dupe Akinwande

ALTOS

  1. Sis. Jumoke Osobu
  2. Sis. Aderoju Kuju
  3. Bro. Olatunji Akinwande - Part Leader
  4. Bro. Oladele Adeniran
  5. Bro. Olusola Oshodi-Glover
  6. Bro. Bolaji Amoye
  7. Bro. Oluwatosin Ademodi
  8. Bro. Tunde Amoye
  9. Bro. Oluwafemi Aribanusi

TENORS

  1. Bro. Olufemi Fasina
  2. Bro. Oluyomi Amoye
  3. Bro. N. A. Williams (Part Leader)
  4. Bro. Oluseyi Bentil
  5. Bro. Oluwagbemiga Adeniyi
  6. Bro. Seun Amoye
  7. Bro. John Akinsuyi
  8. Bro. Olanrewaju Adetunji
  9. Bro. Adeleye Conde
  10. Bro. Adebowale Oshunkoya
  11. Bro. Ademilola Kuju
  12. Pa. J.O. Williams
  13. Pa. Muyiwa Fasina

BASSES

  1. Prof. Olabode Abisogun Leigh (O.F.R.)
  2. Bro. Kehinde Osoneye
  3. Bro. Wale Adediran
  4. Bro. Siji Olowosuko
  5. Bro. Olugbenga Ogunmefun
  6. Bro. Kayode Fasina
  7. Bro. Olubanji Akinsuyi
  8. Bro. Oluwasegun Okewunmi (Part Leader)
  9. Bro. Ademolu Oshunkoya
  10. Pa. C.O. Medahunsi
  11. Bro. Ademola Akande
  12. Bro. A. A. Kilanse
  13. Bro. Olatunde Babarinde
  14. Bro. Omotayo Adebambo
  15. Bro. Adeyemi Emilola
  16. Bro. Ayodele Aramide
  17. Bro. Muyiwa Orioye
  18. Bro. Adedapo Allen
  19. Pa. I.O. Onasanya
  20. Bro. Tayo Odefadehan

PATRONS/PATRONESS

  1. Chief Femi Akinmade
  2. Chief Mrs. Modupe Adelaja
  3. Mr. Olatunde Fasina
  4. Mr. Femi Daramola
  5. Mrs. V.M. Dawodu
  6. Dr. Frederick Isiotan Fasehun
  7. Dr. O.A. Kuforiji
  8. High Chief Ibidapo

OFFICERS OF THE CHOIR

  1. Bro. Tayo Omogbenigun - Choirmaster / Organist
  2. Bro. Olufemi Fasina - General Secretary
  3. Bro. Oluwasegun Okewunmi - Assistant General Secretary
  4. Prof. Olabode Abisogun Leigh (O.F.R.) - Choirmaster's Warden
  5. Bro. Adedoyin Oshunkoya - Assistant Organist
  6. Bro. Oluwaseyi Durolaje - Assistant Organist
  7. Bro. Kehinde Osoneye - Choir Warden
  8. Bro. Oladele Adeniran - Treasurer
  9. Sis. Jumoke Osobu - Financial Secretary
  10. Bro. Omotayo Adebambo - Social / Welfare
  11. Sis. Ebunoluwa Sogules - Assistant Social / Welfare
  12. Bro. Adedapo Allen - Librarian
  13. Bro. Olanrewaju Adetunji - Assistant Librarian
  14. Bro. Oyelabi Oyelakin - Assistant Librarian
  15. Bro. Oluseyi Bentil - Robe-Keeper
  16. Bro. Oluwagbemiga Adeniyi - Cross-Bearer
  17. Bro. Oladele Adeniran - Assistant Cross-Bearer
  18. Bro. Wale Adediran - Auditor
  19. Dr. C.O. Kolade - (Choirmaster Emeritus) - C.O.N.

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