We are once again excited to bring another edition of our Featured Musician series. This edition, we featured the beautifully talented, experienced, and eccentric classical musician, singer, composer and voice coach Grace Oforka aka Graciedion.
Graciedion is an African Art composer, musician, voice coach, music therapist, composer and classical soloist.
EARLY LIFE OF GRACE OFORKA
Grace Bernard Oforka also known as Graciedion was born in Lagos, Nigeria to a Family of Eight. The first daughter and Second child to the Bernard Family. Her mother pursued a music career by singing in the choir and writing a few songs. Her mother Agathaxristi (Her stage name) encouraged her to join the choir at a tender age. Grace admired her mother’s voice and was moved to joined the choir at a very tender age. She didn’t take singing seriously at the time and therefore got kicked out of the children choir whenever they wanted to go on big events or competition.
In her first year in Junior secondary school, she was faced with learning music. Grace described her Experience as not favorable. She hated the fact that she had to learn music because it’s theory aspect seemed really very difficult for her to follow up. She gave up studying music.
Just as every young child. Grace picked interest in the Recorder. Her senior Brother, Innocent Bernard would show her how to place her fingers and make sounds with it. This remained Grace’s source of consolation to express music. She would play the Recorder till day break expressing different tunes. Then the unexpected happened. Her life took for a turn. She lost her parents and moved over to Republic of Benin to live with her Second Parents who loved and cared for her. She enrolled at Trinity Montessori School a bilingual school. She studied music again in her first year in the Senior Secondary School. The music teacher was so impressed with her progress and improvement. He was determined to help her build her music career but Grace was reluctant, She was not sure if music was what she wanted to do and that opportunity slide. She later moved to Lagos to complete her Secondary Education Rosyland Comprehensive College and the music education dream slide. Nonetheless She was a member of the choir at the Republic of Benin. She grew to popularity in the church as a very good Cantor. Most people testified that Grace’s voice seemed so angelic. Even the Priest always wanted Grace to appear before the altar.
Every Sunday she was chosen to sing.
After high School, Grace battled between studying music or studying something else. After several failed attempts of trying to study something else. She finally decided to listen to her inner self. She went to study music/social studies education at the Federal College of Education Abeokuta with the help of her parents. Studying music brought so much joy and purpose to her. After achieving the N.C.E certificate.
She went on to take Associated Board of Royal School of Music (ABRSM) and Rock school of Music, London (RSL) Vocals Singing which she passed so well. While at school she worked with Ray Power FM as an intern and also King Almachree Arts Academy under the tutelage of Sir Mike Roy Olokungboye where she learnt to play several Instruments.
MUSICAL EXPERIENCES OF GRACE OFORKA
As a student, Grace was involved in singing in several occasions. She was the choir mistress for the Federal College of Education NFCS chapter. She won the award of the Miss Music students Association of Nigeria 2013-2015. She also got to perform at the National NFCS Convention, Onitsha, Nigeria. She sang at several churches and events performing several solo works as a classical artists. In 2016, Grace now popularly known as Graciedion a name which evolved over the years which she explains as meaning God’s grace or grace of God formed a Chorale Society called Graciedion Chorale Society in which they organized the First Luev concert titled ,’ Christmas Arts in Festac’. She performed her music Composition which comprised of the voice, Recorders, guitar and violin. In 2017 she held another Luev Concert titled ‘Praise Arts’ in which she premiered her Aramaic and Spanish Compositions.
In 2018, Grace Oforka released her first officially written Opera, ‘The Story of Job‘ in collaboration with Obioha Ogbonna. It was premiered at the Luev concert by the Graciedion Chorale Society and left an astonished audience. She was also commissioned among 7 African composers for a solo work performed by Midori Samson on the Project Bassoon for Africa at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The pieces she composed has since been performed by many other Bassoonists at Recitals and used as instructional exercises in Music departments at the United States of America. Since then she has been commissioned by several other artists to compose works for their Instruments and composed several other works, solo, duets and operas.
In 2020, Grace Oforka released her long awaited Hausa composition Ku zu mu ya be shi.
Upon graduation, Graciedion got to work with world renowned Educator, Akapo Emmanuel at the Tenstrings Music Institute. She worked diligently as the music therapist and vocal coach. In 2018, she was nominated by the students and won the award as the Most Efficient Instructor at the Tenstrings Music Institute, Festac Center, Lagos.
She is currently involved in running Graciedion Media Music and Vocal Institute. She and her team of instructors trains Special persons, Children, Adults, so many upcoming and professional artists. They are involved in training people how to Sing, Use their voice properly, play musical instruments, pass musical exams and compose works. She also teaches online and physical music classes.
Grace aspires to reach out to several artists both upcoming, professionals, special persons, Children and adults all over the world. To help them develop their God given music talents and become better and well informed with their arts.
She also looks forward to writing more Compositions for several music Instruments and operas for the glory of God.
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