RECENTLY, the Queen Beatrice Orchestra had its inaugural concert at the Agip Hall, Muson Centre, Lagos and used the occasion to also launch its maiden album, ‘Am Ready’.
Led by Ima Kagho, a composer, arranger and director, the orchestra performed highlife and light classical tunes such as Arrival, Friendly Denials, Left to ponder, Dodo King, Dantsiki, Just for him, and Horns for today to the admiration of the audience.
All the pieces performed were short and easy to appreciate. They, thus, appealed to a cross section of members of the audience.
THE orchestra, according to Kagho, was conceived in 2007 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of his mother, Mrs. Beatrice Kagho-Omomadia. Its performance strategy is to produce traditional, contemporary and classical pieces in short, melodious and easily-appreciated orchestral arrangements.
According to him, “even when popularly appreciated, such music will not fit into the genre of popular music; rather it will have the durability of a music standard.”
Kagho said. “Subject to availability of trained musicians, similar orchestras are to be assembled in different cities of the country. One orchestra is also planned for each of a few selected secondary schools in the country. The more orchestras we have in the country, the more avenues there are for employment of trained musicians. Each orchestra is envisaged to become the nucleus of a music school and will contribute to the fruitful engagement of youths.”
KAGHO attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, briefly, between 1967 and 68, before he won a government scholarship to study at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He read Electrical Engineering. He returned home in 1972 and worked in the Midwest State Ministry of Works. He was there from 1973 to 1981. Between 1982 and 1986, he was at the Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority; and from 1986 to 2007, he was with the Federal Ministry of Works, where he retired as Director Engineering Services in 2005.