Hymnodia Season 2 kicked off on Sunday 23rd February after the official unveiling of the final 15 hymntestants at the Hymnstitute. Yes, i mean 15 hymntestants. You’d thought it was 14 right? we thought so too.
Going into the day, the 14 hymntestants who qualified from the rigorous audition process were to be unveiled to the public. Little did anyone know there was going to be a “twist”. Eventually, 15 hymntestants were admitted into the Hymnstitute to battle for the ultimate prize in Hymnodia Season 2.
Eventually, no one had to leave the Hymnstitute. On the contrary, Contestant 1 from Hymnodia 2019 was admitted to make 15 hymntestants for Hymnodia 2020.
Hymntestants for the Hymnodia 2020 were drawn from various denominations and States in Nigeria. Catholics, Presbyterian, Pentecostals, Anglican and Celestial Churches all had representatives.
Music Estate congratulates the successful musicians for making it this far.
Because very little was known about last year’s contestants, so we are bringing you an up close details about the 15 hymnodia 2020 hymntestants.
Here is all you need to know about the Hymnodia 2020 contestants (hymnestants) who qualified to participate in this year’ Hymnodia Reality TV Show competition.
THE 15 CHOSEN HYMNODIA 2020 HYMNTESTANTS
The successful candidates released for Hymnodia 2020 are Elizabeth Olaitan, Duke Asuquo, Ogochukwu Onwuelingo, Johnson Ikpeama, Margaret Thomas, Stephen Nwosu, Christiana Oluwatobi, Frank Okoye, Jessica Etta, Victor Ige, Yinka Odunayo, Ediomo Akpan, Echezona Okekeifi, Emmanuel Onubogu and Enenche Jacob Okwori.
MORE ABOUT THE CONTESTANTS
Elizabeth Olufunmilayo Olaitan
Elizabeth Olufumilayo Olaitan popularly referred to as “Lizzy Classic” is a Nigerian Soprano Soloist, Vocal Instructor, Yoruba Art Musician. She has horned her skills over the years. An alumnus of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (Music) and University of Lagos graduate, Elizabeth Olaitan has excelled greatly in the classical field. She is a voice coach at MUSON Basic School of Music. She has performed with several choirs like MUSON choir, Bestspring choral, City of David choir, Unilag choir to mention a few.
Elizabeth Olaitan is a music teacher, classical singer and worship leader. Elizabeth is a “proud daughter of Ibadan” Oyo State and splits her time into teaching music across a divergent studentship from primary school up to the professional levels. She counts talking and singing as her hobbies. She has over 20 years’ singing experience across genres. Elizabeth is a chorister and worship leader at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of David, Victoria Island, Lagos. Her favourite hymn is “To God be the glory”. Elizabeth is a Soprano.
Her Unique Voting number is 10.
Duke Asuquo Fred
Duke Asuquo Fred is no novice to singing. He is a highly experienced classical singer, voice coach and songwriter. Asuquo has sang alongside choirs like the prestigious Lagos City Choral and MUSON Choir. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, Festac, Lagos.
Duke Asuquo is a musician, IT consultant and a ‘God lover’. A singer, hymn lover and associate music director, Duke believes the sacrifice of staying away from his family and work will be justified with the learning he will receive at the Hymnstitute. Duke is a veteran of the classical singing circuit with proven ability as a soloist. Duke is of Calabar, Cross River State origin. He is a chorister at The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria Festac Town Parish, Lagos. His favourite hymn is “‘Tis So Sweet”. Duke is a Tenor.
His Unique Voting number is 7.
Johnson ‘Json’ Ikpeama is a student and a musician. A lover of ‘God music’, Json started a Foundation for taking care of orphans and took a one-year time off from his University education to sing for God before succeeding in entering the Hymnstitute at the second time of asking. Json is from Mbaise in Imo State. He is a chorister of the Basilica of Grace Anglican Church, Gudu, Abuja. His favourite hymn is “Be Still My soul”. Json is a Tenor.
Talk to talent, talk of Jason. He has more than 20years of singing experience in both contemporary and classical music in the gospel circle. His Unique Voting number is 3.
Margret Catherine Thomas
Margaret Thomas is a vivacious soloist with a disarming personality. She is an accountant by training, an ex-banker and a part time student but her greatest joy comes when she sings. Margaret is driven to succeed in all that she does, so she is looking forward to conquering the challenge of the Hymnstitute. She comes to Hymnodia to find herself and serve God with her vocal cords. Margaret is fulfilled making it into the Hymnstitute considering the talents she saw at the auditions. A native of Zangon-Kataf in Kaduna, Margaret speaks Hausa, Igbo and her native Pyap fluently. Her hobbies are singing, baking and reading. She is a chorister at St. Simon Catholic Church, Mararaba, Kaduna. Her favourite hymn is “Christ Be Our Light”. Margaret is a Soprano.
Watch out for Margaret. She’s got some powerful vocals. Her Unique Voting number is 14.
Yinka Erinle Odunayo, a mother of two, a mass communications graduate and a caterer. A lover of reading, singing and meeting people. She is a versatile soloist with over 10 years singing experience spanning many singing ensembles. She is a chorister at her home church, Celestial Church of Christ, Akoka Parish, Lagos. Her favourite hymns are eclectic: the Yoruba hymn “E korin ke gborin” and the classic “All Creatures of our God and King”. Yinka is a Soprano.
Talk to high pitch vocals, then you are inviting Yinka. She is good. But does she stand a chance to pick up the crown? your guess is as good as mine.
Her Unique Voting number is 4.
Enenche Jacob Okwori
Dr. Enenche is the only hymntestant who did not audition for Hymnodia season 2. This is because he hymntestant No. 1 in season 1, but had to pull out due to career call.
Aside being a wildcard entry, Enenche is a singer and composer. He has been a choirmaster for 15 years. He sings/sang with the All Hallows Choir Unibuja, St Peter Claver Catholic Chaplaincy Unibuja, as well as the OLPH Cathedral Choir & Immaculate Conception Choir in Makurdi.
Frank Okoye is an estate valuer turned classical soloist. In his words, “I just love to sing and worship with all my heart”. Despite his renown, Frank sees himself as “still a learner”. Every singing opportunity is a big opportunity for him. Thus, he entered Hymnodia to seize an opportunity for greatness. Supremely confident yet humble in his disposition, this Anambra State born worshipper has more than two decades of singing experience. He is a chorister at St James Anglican Church, Asokoro, Abuja. His favourite hymn is “God Is Working His Purpose Out”. Frank is a Tenor.
Frank Okoye did not come to joke. He sure came with his eyes fixed on the prize. This Abuja-based tenor singer is a Soloist vast in English, French, Italia & Spanish languages. He is a equally an orchestra performer.
His Unique Voting number is 11.
Victor Ige is a tailor and a music enthusiast. A member of several choral singing groups with a love for meeting new people. Victor loves camping and believes the Hymnstitute will be a natural habitat as he tests his church music limits. Victor is an Oyo State indigene but speaks Bini in addition to his native Yoruba. He is a chorister at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Gbaja, Surulere, Lagos. His favourite hymn is Once In Royal David’s City. Victor is a Tenor
His Unique Voting number is 2
This Lagos based music enthusiast is someone to look out for. Victor Ige is an experienced singer. As noted earlier, he is a member of a handful of choral groups. He will be a major force to be reckoned with in the Hymnstitute. Not to forget, Ige is a member of the award winning choral group Musica Casa Chorale.
Christiana Oluwatoyin Oluwatobi is an Economist by training, a children educator by vocation and a musician by passion. A lover of writing, singing and acting, Christiana has the toolkit to succeed in the crucible of the Hymnstitute. Christiana entered for Hymnodia to improve her confidence and find basis for self-expression through music. She is a chorister at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja, Lagos. Her favourite hymn is The Solid Rock Praise to the Lord, The Almighty. Christiana is a Soprano.
Her Unique Voting number is 6
Christiana came from a music background. On experience, Christiana has recorded a single. She is vastly experienced in chorale music, has participated in the World Choir Game as a member of the Lagos City Choral. She is also a member of Gracidion Chorale, amongst others. Watch out for Christiana!
Stephen Nwosu is a full-time musician, though he read estate management in school. He is comfortable and even precocious at the same level in both classical and contemporary renditions of church music. Stephen has over 12 years singing experience. His other hobbies outside singing are tennis and cooking. He speaks Yoruba and Igbo languages fluently and can sing in them too. In addition to singing, Stephen plays the saxophone and the clarinet. He worships and sings as a chorister at the Holy Trinity Church, Ikoyi, Lagos. His favourite hymn is “Master the tempest is raging”. Stephen is a Tenor.
Stephen is a one musician who has a great blend of classical, contemporary and broadway music. His introductory singing at the unveiling of contestants spoke in volume of what he can do with his voice. Watch for him.
Ogochukwu Onwuelingo is a psychologist, ex-banker and a baker with music as a natural detour. She has a fresh, unladen voice and she confesses “hymns are part of me”. This mother of two has been a chorister for 14 years and entered Hymnodia to join in spreading the good news of hymns. Ogochukwu believes the Hymnstitute will be tasking but aims to realise her own potentials no matter how it goes. Her hobbies are singing, cooking/baking and meeting people. She is a chorister at St. Denis Catholic Church, Akoka/Bariga and she speaks Yoruba better than her Igbo mother tongue. Her favourite hymn is “God give us Christian homes”. Ogochukwu is a Soprano.
Her Unique Voting number is 12.
Echezona Christopher Okekeifi is an ICT specialist and a soloist. An impactful worshipper with stage presence. Echezona is an advert for hymns and church music in all their forms. In his spare time, he loves singing, playing and gaming. Echezona is from Anambra State. He is a chorister at the St James Anglican Church, Asokoro Abuja. His favourite hymn is the all-time great “My God How Wonderful Thou Art”. He is a Baritone.
Her Unique Voting number is 5.
Not much is known about Echezona Okekeifi, except that this Abuja-based singer can sure sing. His voice tells his story better. Okekeifi will give anyone a run for their money with his baritone voice.
Ediomo Akpan is prolific musician whose refers to himself as a ‘church boy’. Soft spoken and self-effacing, his quiet mien belies the voice strength he carries when he starts to sing. A graduate of the ABRSM Advanced Chorale Singing program, Ediomo has sung in several choirs over the past 9 years. Ediomo is a pseudo-polyglot, he speaks English, Spanish and his native language Annang. He is an Akwa Ibom-born, Lagos-bred soloist with proficiency on the classical flute. He is a chorister at the House On The Rock Church, Lekki, Lagos. His favourite hymn is A Mighty Fortress is our God. Ediomo is Tenor.
His Unique Voting number is 9.
Emmanuel Onubogu is a music prodigy and holds post-graduate qualifications in Music Elocution. A founder of several chorale groups and programs in promotion of church music. Emmanuel, an Imo State born who is coming to Hymnodia “with a full package of all I love in music and worship”. With a conflict resolution capability and teaching skills in tow, Emmanuel could be a peacemaker among the Hymntestants. He is a chorister at the Valleyside Seventh Day Adventist Church, Oregun, Ikeja Lagos. Emmanuel has no declared favourite among the hymns. Emmanuel is a Baritone.
His Unique Voting number is 8.
Jessica Etta is a fresh graduate of English Language and Literature. A sonorous singer with a warm disposition and a generous smile. Jessica is in the Hymnstitute to improve her skills, learn more and prove herself on the grand stage. She is Cross River-born and a chorister at Christ the King Catholic Chaplaincy, Owerri, Imo State. Her favourite hymn is Praise to the Lord, The Almighty. Jessica is an alto.
Her Unique Voting number is 1.
The journey to the Hymnstitute, into the final 15 was not any easy one for any of the hymntestants. If you made it to the house, it could only have been through merit. The contestant had to literally fight for their place and convinced the judges that they deserved a place.
Once again, congratulations to the 15 Hymnodia 2020 hymntestants. We wish them all the very best at the Hymnstitute.