Who Is Dr. Chinedum Nathan Osinigwe, His Life And Music

Chinedu_Osinigwe

Dr. Chinedum Nathan Osinigwe hails from Umu-eze community in Nzagha-Ukpor, Nnew-South L.G.A of Anambra. He was born into the family of late Revd. Daniel Chukwuemeka and Mrs Chizoba Suzzana Osinigwe, in Surulere, Lagos, in the seventies. Dr. Osinigwe interest in music was specifically ignited by his father, who himself was a very good singer and hymn enthusiast. Also, growing up in a Christian home (where hymn singing was a daily routine for early morning devotions) equally triggered his interest in music.

Education

Dr. Chinedum Osinigwe started his education journey at St. Thomas Acquinos Pry School, surulere Lagos. He later attended Atunranse Boys’ Secondary School (1986 -1992) also in Surulere, for his secondary education. Dr. Chinedum started his tertiary education by obtaining an Ordinary National Diploma (OND, 2000) in Business Management from Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, and later, a Higher National Diploma (HND, 2007) in Business Management from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo Campus.

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Dr. Chinedum Nathan Osinigwe during academic presentation

In addition, Dr. Chinedum Nathan Osinigwe obtained Grade 5 (Theory of music) with merit from the prestigious MUSON School of music, Lagos. Dr Osinigwe later went on to study music at University of Lagos, Akoka, where he bagged his B.A, 2010, (Upper division), M.A 2011 and PhD 2016 in music (Theory and Composition) respectively.

Journey into Music

Dr Osinigwe started his musical journey when he joined a church choir as a secondary school boy at All Saints Anglican Church, Surulere, in the late 80’s under the directorship of Sir Emeka Nwokedi. Consequently, he got his first tutorship as a singer there and this served as a spring board for the pursuit of a music career in the coming years. However, he later developed himself and become an organist.

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In truth, being an organist was a self-effort for Chinedum Osinigwe because he didn’t have the privilege of being tutored by any mentor who is/was an organist. He taught himself basically how to play the keyboard and piano through the help of tutor books such as “Williams Smallwood’s Pianoforte Tutor” and others. In fact, his father gave him his hymn book ‘the New Church Hymnal’ seeing his great enthusiasm in music.

Dr. Chinedum Nathan Osinigwe
Dr. Chinedum Nathan Osinigwe on the organ

He started playing digital organ when he was employed as Organist at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, IKeja GRA, in 2007 having being a chorister in the same church for more than a decade. His playing of the digital organ didn’t happen without the mentorship of the following choirmasters at one point or the other, Mr Kolawole Hicks, Dr Michael Olatunji, Bode Faloro (organist), and Mr Sunday Olawuwo respectively.

Dr. Osinigwe is also an active member in Lagos City Choral, a group which has toured round the globe participating in world choir games and also won several medals for their efforts.

Music Career

Dr. Chinedum Osinigwe started his music career as an organist/ choirmaster to several Anglican churches within the Lagos metropolis. Furthermore, he has served as organist and choir master in the following churches. All Saints Anglican Church, Orile-Agege, Lagos. (1998 to 1990), St. James Anglican Church, Ikeja, Lagos (January 1990 till August1995), and St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Isheri-Olowoira, Lago (October 1990 till September 1997). He has also served as an organist at Emmanuel Anglican Church, Mobil Road, Apapa, Lagos (Aug.1997–Feb.2000) and St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Ifako-Ijaiye, Lagos. (April 2000 till December 2002).  

Dr. Chinedum Nathan Osinigwe
Dr. Chinedum Nathan Osinigwe

He was also a music Instructor/Choir Trainer at RCCG Salvation Centre, G.R.A. Ikeja, Lagos from July 2002 till October 2002, and was a Music Director at NAF Protestant Church, Air-force Base, Ikeja from 2009 to2015. He presently consults and directs choirs from other Christian denominations such as the COCIN (Church of Christ in Nigeria), NCCN (Non-denominational Christian Choir Association of Nigeria) Lagos Chapter, HECKAN, Global Impact Church Lagos, and host of others.

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Currently, Dr. Chinedum Osinigwe is an Organist at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral (AVMCC), G.R.A. Ikeja.  Also, he is also a part-time teacher at MUSON School of Music teaching ‘African music’. In recent time, he moved from the civil service as a Music Instructor at Nigeria Farm-Craft Centre for the Blind, Isheri-Olofin, Lagos (a division under the Rehabilitation Department, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Abuja), to a lecturing appointment at Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, Nigeria.

Awards and Honours

In recognition of his estimable service, Dr. Chinedum Nathan Osinigwe got an award from Non-denominational Christian Choir Association of Nigeria (NCCN Lagos chapter) last year (2019) for developing their choir to an appreciable standard which enabled them to come tops at their last choral competition in Niger state same year.

Musical Works and Academic Publication

Dr Osinigwe is indeed a phenomenal music scholar, composer cum arranger, and a prolific writer. In fact, he has several academic publications and number of musical compositions and arrangements to his credit. He also has a vast collection of self-composed hymns and chants. Above all, Chinedum Osinigwe (PhD) is a musician whose musical compositions and arrangements exhibit elements of African music in performance and teaching. In truth, he remained a strong advocate for the development and re-enactment of African/Nigerian classical music in all its ramifications (indigenous, religious, and popular genre). And obviously, his musical works speak volumes for this.

To mention a few, listed below are some of his Native Airs (Sacred and Secular) works:

  • Atul’egwu Onye’zi-omume (an Igbo sacred anthem)
  • Jehova bu Onye-agha (an Igbo sacred anthem)
  • Naga Eze Jisos (an Igbo sacred anthem for Palm Sunday)
  • Ubangiji Duniya (a Hausa popular gospel tune)
  • Adupe Jesu Oba Ogo (a Yoruba sacred anthem)
  • Ijoba Orun (a popular Yoruba gospel tune)
  • Osuba Re re o (a popular Yoruba gospel tune)
  • Eyen Amanada (an Efik Xmas sacred anthem)
  • Watekeira Tamuno (Ijaw)
  • Osemudiamen (Eshan)
  • Baba aiye, jeki ‘Joba rede (Yoruba)
  • Akanam nkwe (Efik)
  • Igbo Sacred Cantata
  • Igbo Liturgy, Psalms and Chants
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In addition to the works listed above, the under-listed choral arrangements, from Dr Chinedum Nathan Osinigwe, have all been performed at different times and fora in the World Choir Games and European Choir Games respectively. The choral competitions were organized by ‘INTERCULTURE’ in countries such as USA, RUSSIA, GERMANY, and AUSTRIA. Of course, the songs were performed by ‘LAGOS CITY CHORALE’, under the able leadership and directorship of Sir Emeka Solomon Nwokedi:

  • Halleluyah Chim le (an arrangement of Igbo popular tune)
  • Agidigba ka Chineke ayi di (an arrangement of a popular Igbo Church tune)
  • Nike Nike (an arrangement of a popular Igbo folk tune)
  • Onye Akpana Nwa Agu Aka N’odu (an arrangement of Igbo folk tune)
  • Jigidem Onyenwem (an arrangement of a popular Igbo Church tune)
  • Ayina Ja Gi Nma (an arrangement of a popular Igbo Church tune)
  • E se ibi teti bere (an arrangement of a popular Yoruba Church tune)
  • Epo nbe, Ewa nbe (a popular Yoruba folk tune)

Dr. Chinedum Osinigwe

Furthermore, New Wine Ensemble, under the directorship of Oladapo Okunmuyide performed and premiered one of his folk arrangements at the 2018 World Choir Games in South Africa.. Specifically, the arrangement is “Epo nbe, Ewa nbe”. To explain, Epo nbe, Ewa nbe is a Yoruba folksong that invokes the prayer for twin babies.

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Not only did he composed and arranged in his native language, Igbo, and other Nigerian languages. ChinedumOsinigwe (Phd) also have compositions and arrangements in English. In particular, the following are of some his English Sacred Anthems. Specifically, “To God be the glory” (a popular hymn he adapted into a different tune), “God is my Salvation” (an anthem), and “One Thing have I desired” (an anthem). In addition, to these are: “As Moses lifted up the serpent” (a solo piece), “Therefore, be matured in the Lord” (an anthem), and “They that wait upon the Lord” (an anthem). He also has “Today a King is born” (an anthem) and Hymnal & Chants Compilation to his credit.

Also, Chinedum Osinigwe (PhD) is known as a music scholar and some of his academic publication are:

  • Musical Theme, a Veritable Tool for Creativity and Structural Unity in Contemporary Music in Nigeria: a paper published in the UNILAG Journal of Humanities (UJH) vol.2. No.1, 2014.
  • The Concept of Creativity in Contemporary Popular Music in Nigeria: a book published online by LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, 2016.
  • Popular Tunes from our Land (Arranged for Choral voices): a book published at Shabach Music Publisher, a subsidiary of Shabach Universal Interbiz (SUI)vol.1, January 2017.
  • Contemporary Nigeria Church Music: A Search for True Identity and Cultural Relevance: a paper published in the International Journal of Music and Performing Arts (IJMPA) vol.4. No.2, December2016.
  • Development of Motifs in Vocal and Instrumental Sections of Igbo Popular Music: An Analysis of Selected Songs. A paper published in Eyo Journal of the Art and Humanities (EJAH) vol.2. No.1, 2016.
  • Christian Hymnody: Towards Developing a Local Content to Meet Contemporary Demands of Corporate Worship among Churches in Nigeria. A paper published in ACU JOURNAL November 2018.
Personal Life

Dr. Chinedum Osinigwe is happily married to his lovely wife Mrs. Ugochi Eberechukwu Osinigwe and blessed with five lovely children. God indeed blessed the family with two sets of twins, boys and girls respectively.

Conclusion

Dr. Chinedum Nathan Osinigwe, has remained an enigma in the Nigeria choral scene after being influenced immensely in his choral music foray by respected and highly revered  personalities such as Sir Sam Ojukwu, who is popularly referred to as ‘Handel of Igbo choral music’. Ojukwu’s compositional styles has always been admired and revered by Dr Osinigwe, and has thus applied same in some of choral compositions.

Besides, his philosophy in life has always been “we are all unique in our own rights and such we should show fort our uniqueness through our God-given talents and skills”. As Africans, we have been greatly influenced by the western civilization and culture that we are fast relegating our unique cultures embedded in our music, fashion, language fast to the background.

In fact, this has remained a tough challenge for patriotic art musicians like Chinedum Osinigwe, who in their little ways are making giants efforts in re-awakening these already forgotten cultural tenets that uniquely distinguishes us in our tribal colouration as Nigerians and our collective engagements even as Africans. Above all, this re-awakening is envisioned to be escalated in our different musical genres in Nigeria (traditional/ folks, religious, art, and popular arts).


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