A Service of CHRISTMAS CAROLS & NINE LESSONS was held at the Cathedral Church of Christ (Anglican Communion), Lagos, on Sunday, December 19, 2010. Before the service, there was an Organ Recital by RICHARD PEARCE, a staff accompanist at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, and a former Organ Scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge.
The Director of Music, Royal Choral Society, London, RICHARD COOKE and TOLU OBAJIMI (Organist & Master of Music of the Cathedral) conducted the Chior and the visiting Trumpeters of the Life Guards led by Trumpet Major TIM WEST (with the permission of Colonel S. H. COWEN, Commander, Household Calvalry, London).
The 1st. lesson was read by a choir boy, Ayodeji Ojo-Osagie; the 2nd. was read by Miss Kanyisola Ogunruna; other readers were Venerable Tayo Adunoju; Mrs. Abah Oputa; Mr. Victor “Gbolly” Osibodu; Ms. Funlola Osunade; Mrs. Kemi Balogun; Mr. Walter L. von den Driech and The Revd. GEORGE ABARA.
THE TRUMPETERS OF THE GUARDS
The Life Guards were raised in January, 1661 from scattered regiments of King Charles the First’s Cavaliers. Originally, The Life Guards consisted of three troops – The King’s Own, The Duke of York’s and the Duke of Albermarle’s, one Troop being raised mainly in Scotland. When Charles II entered London at his restoration on 29 May, 1661, his triumphal procession was led by Kettle Drummers and Trumpeters, followed by the King’s Troop of Life Guards. At this time, only “privileged” people were allowed to possess Kettledrums and Trumpets. Of the Household Troops, only Life Guards and Royal Horse Guards were given the privilege. At this time these instruments also served as a form of communication on the battlefield.
In 1685, the Trumpeters of the Life Guards were ordered to wear a red plume on their helmets instead of the white plume and were also mounted on grey horses. Today the Band ride black horses, the Drummer by tradition rides a piebald or skewbald horse. The Drum horses are named after Classical Greek Heroes, and carry solid silver.
Kettledrums, which weigh 80 Ibs each and were presented by HM King William IV in May, 1831.
The State Dress of the Band and Trumpeters consists of “a heavily embroider gold tunic with a dark blue jockey cap, buckskin riding breeches and thigh length boots. This is the oldest ceremonial uniform in the regular army and was introduced in 1699. It can only be worn by permission of the Monarch at the request of the Lord Mayor of London.
TRUMPET MAJOR TIM WEST
Trumpet Major Tim West joined The Band of the Life Guards in 1995 as a Trombone player. He has toured quite extensively including New Zealand, Finland, Germany, Cyprus, and most recently Korea.
He assumed the appointment of Trumpet Major in March 2008. As Trumpet Major, he has featured at most major ceremonial occasions including State Visits, The State Opening of Parliament, Film Premieres and at the opening ceremonies of The Rugby World Cup.
Richard Cooke is returning to Lagos Cathedral for the first time since he visited in 1972 with King’s College Cambridge Choir under Sir David Willcocks. He started his music career as a Chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, where he was Head Chorister. He studied music at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was Choral Scholar. He was conductor of the London Philharmonic Choir from 1982-1991. He has been Music Director of The Royal Choral Society in London since 1995, appearing with them in many concerts at the Royal Festival and Royal Albert Halls. Most notable of these have been their annual Good Friday performance of Handel’s Messiah and their spectacular Christmas concerts. He has conducted many of the UK’s leading orchestras in the Cathedrals of Peterborough, Winchester, Salisbury, Norwich, St. Edmundsbury and Rochester. He has a long association as Music Director with Canterbury Choral Society and the University of Essex Choir. He has conducted in many European cities, most frequently in Sweden, where he has given concerts with the Gothenburg and Helsingborgs Symphony Orchestras.
He has received four Grammy nominations and one Grammy Award. He received an Honorary Doctorate at the University of Essex in 1996, in recognition of his contribution to musical life at the .University, and has recently been made an Honorary Doctor of Music at the University of Kent.
Richard Pearce was Organ Scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge, where as Conductor and Organist he toured and recorded extensively with the Chapel Choir. After graduating with First Class Honours in Music, he studied piano accompaniment for two years at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
As Organ Soloist and Piano Accompanist, Richard has given recitals in Westminster Abbey, the Louvre Museum, Paris and in Tokyo, as well as a series of recitals over the last year at London’s Banqueting House and Broadcasts for BBC and ITV television and radio. Recent projects included trips to Switzerland, Japan, Italy, France and Sweden and recordings of songs by Respighi, Martucci and Pizzeti for Warner Classics with tenor Jose Maria Guerrero. He has performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra and BBC Symphony Orchestra in Promenade Concert and tours to Italy and Luxembourg.
Working with Chamber Choirs and Choruses has become a speciality for Richards.
He records and broadcasts regularly with the BBC Singers, most recently in broadcasts of Wesley, Purcell and Gibbons, and CDs of Choral works by Elizabeth Maconchy and Daniel Asia. He has long-standing associations with the Royal Choral Society, as well as twice yearly trips to Sweden to work with groups in the Stockholm and Malmo areas. He has been Musical Director of the Waverley Singers since February 2009.
Richard is a vocal coach and staff accompanist at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Here are some of the faces at the glorious service which was well-conducted by the Provost, The Very Reverend AKINPELU JOHNSON.
Photographs by Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of PHOTONEWS: SUNMI SMART-COLE