Theme: Some Trust In Chariots, And Some In Horses, But We Will Remember The Name Of The LORD our GOD -
(Psalms 20 : 7)
Date: Friday, April 27 to Tuesday, May, 1 , 1984
Venue: Oduduwa Hall. University of Ife, Ile-Ife
Preacher: Yemi Ayodele, Ibadan
The Young Voices, Ilorin and Geths’mane Squad Singers, Port Harcourt made their debut.
To the LIVINGSPRING.
Hope you had a nice time
The last time around.
Wish you a better time
This time around.
Good to see you again
Still in God’s bargain
We can all gain
Over and over again.”
These lyrics rang through Oduduwa Hall, University of Ife, on Friday, 27th April, 1984 as the music session of LIVINGSPRING ’84, the second Annual Festival of Christian Music took off. Those words echoed the thoughts of the Festival Chairman, Bro. Ladi Osasona which he shared with the 1,200 participants eagerly waiting to see another Livingspring season unfold.
With the audience’s appetite thus whetted by the Festival song group, the stage was set for the GOSPEL SINGERS (Ibadan based), JESUS REVOLUTION SINGERS (Ibadan based) and the AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST (Ile-Ife based) to thrill the audience to two hours of good Christian music. One listener remembered the rendition of ‘Thank You Lord’ by one of the groups so vividly (and with admiration) that he placed it on record for the organizers. Without doubt, gratitude to God filled many hearts that night including that of the compere for the night – Bro. Kola Ewuoso.
Day 2 began with praise worship and prayer led by Bro. Lanre Adeboye. Next came, the first of the LIVINGSPRING ’84 seminars titled: “Miking Techniques” by Engr. Oladipo Osasona. Participants were lectured on the types of microphones and how they should be positioned for best effects (e.g. to prevent “howl around” etc.) Emphasis was placed on the criteria to use in the selection of microphones intelligently. Judging from the questions asked and the eagerness with which the handout of reference materials on the topic were received and requested for, the decision to make the seminars one of the highpoints of Livingspring was no mistake.
The music session began with the mellow voices of SLIM AND THE BAND treating audience to an assortment of songs backed adequately. With the OASIS of Zaria and ELECT SINGERS (Ilorin based) following them, the build-up was such that by the time the PLATEAU STATE CORPERS BAND (PSCB) took the stage rendering a mixture of familiar and non-familiar tunes, the fact that good music hardly requires dazzling light effects for its impact to be felt had long been confirmed. The ‘Zeal of God’ which the PSCB so melodiously sang about had caught on, methink!!
By 8.30 p.m, the hall was full again and the compere for the evening, Bro. Gbenga David did not delay in ushering the first group – the SOLID ROCK – to the stage. Singing in English, Yoruba and Hebrew they earned an ovation from the crowd and showed how well the talking drum would go with their mainly – acoustic musical outfit.
The PILGRIM VOICES (Lagos based) who performed next did not conceal of their theme for the evening – “Call Unto Holiness” – as they sang on love, the Virtuous Woman, backsliding, etc. a drama sketch by the WORD PRODUCTIONS punctuated the evening’s musical performance before the TRIBUTE SINGERS (Ibadan based) came on stage. The 11–membered group demonstrated much God-given musical talent and co-ordination. Singing “It won’t be long …”, the crowd gave a loud ovation and shouted ‘encore’ but time would not permit the latter. The JESUS GENERATION SINGERS were yet to play. The group came up amidst a loud cheer with their first song: “The world didn’t give it to me” Sure as every house divided against itself (“confusion”) cannot stand!
Day 3 – Sunday began quite appropriately, with a praise worship led by Evangelist Yemi Ayodele and during which the ASSURANCE VOICES from Lagos played. A foretaste of the promised “garments of praise” (Is. 61: 3) methink.
Three thirty was KIDS’ PRAISE time as the YOUNG VOICES (Ilorin based) whose ages ranged between 4 and 15 years mounted the stage. They combined perfectly rhyming choreography with youthful voices and sang on many challenging themes. Although, no kid Sister Shade Sangowawa rendered some special numbers at this juncture.
Then came a drama sketch and songs by the clearly international kids from the PEARL PRE-SCHOOL DAYCARE (Ife based) whose ages ranged between 21/2 and 4 years, the sketch was based on the Biblical parable of the ten virgins. Their lines were very audible and gesticulations expressive.
Also featured was the HAPPINESS CLUB (Ife based) who were having a second appearance at Livingpring. Included in their repertoire at this Festival was an instrumental number featuring only descant recorders.
If you think all these were kid’s stuff then watch out ……..
The third musical session began with a special number by Sister PAMELLA MOORE after which the SALT came on stage. There was a notable addition of wind and percussion instruments to the group’s hitherto predominantly acoustic accompaniment. The audience appreciated it all. Next came a solo by sister REMI SONAIYA followed by the JOYBELLS OF JESUS (a 10–piece Ogoja-based group) with their characteristically, solemn, ‘Highlife’ gospel songs. It is already sixty minutes of varied performances and more exciting musical action still remains!
The JESUS FANS (excuse me, delete S) featured next. Gaily dressed, the trio (all ladies) sang a melee of slow and fast numbers. Their song: “Coming back” drew a good response from the audience.
TONYE OGAN then made her debut at Livingspring singing “He really cares” and “Trials”. Thank God for the gift of a good voice.
The last group for the night is by no means the least. Jos – based FOOTSTEPS started by teaching the audience a new song: “He is risen”. The audience took the opportunity, with great excitement. Lyricising man’s journey from Eden’s garden through calvary’s love to the centre of God’s will, their songs in varied tunes, declared the Lordship of Christ in an unmistakable fashion. But the last instalment in the Livingspring package is yet to come.
Day 4 of Livingspring ‘84 came with a seminar led by Bro. PANAM composition, arrangement and presentation of music, but without the scheduled afternoon musical session. Thanks to a booking error by Oduduwa Hall Management. But the audience still had no less than a full musical delight awaiting them.
An instrumental “jam session” prepared the audience for the evening’s performance by three bands, one duet and four soloists including Sisters TOYIN OGUNDEPO and DIUTO OKORONKWO. On being ushered in by the compere, Bro. ANDREW NWAMU, CEDRIC BROWN sang his heart out with his voice floating from pitch to pitch and with a soul-stirring and no doubt a soul-seeking earnestness. As the performances built up, the audience could not help noticing the excitement of the SOUL RECONCILERS’ drummer who in an observer’s view, made the drum speak for God’s glory and striking powerful vocal harmonization displayed by the GETHS’MANE SQUAD SINGERS from the Garden City (no marks for guessing that correctly). ‘Maranatha …. The Lord is coming soon’ chanted the GSS as they bowed out. While “They call me a superstar …” sang PANAM PERCY PAUL who was quick to add a refutation: “Jesus … He is the SUPERSTAR!” to a rousing applause from all corners of the arena. His masterly handling of both his voice and his acoustic. (ovation) guitar gave a good account of his seventeen years musical experience. Then came in THE NEW CREATIONS deputation – a duet – with their rather thin and hoarse voices (reminiscent of perhaps Bob Dylan but not with the drawl). Their alterations during the singing of “The fruit of Change” drew an ovation.
THE REDEMPTION SINGERS (Ife–based) came up well after midnight but they got the audience on their toes in their sing-along fashion. Our hearts rejoice for those whose hearts the Lord touched during the evening.
One more experience stood out clearly in the evening: for farewell song was rendered marking the end of the Festival and folks could not believe their ears. But end it must ….. to make way for the LIVINGSPRING to flow on.
See you at LIVINGSPRING ’85.
Here is what the Spirit of the Lord is saying:
“My people, music was not made for the underworld; for from the beginning of beginnings it has pleased my soul to hear my people sing praise unto me. And if you have read from my BOOK you will find out that there’s power in giving me praise.
I say unto you that it will come to pass and now is the time, says the Spirit of the LORD, that the music that comes from the mouth of my people, the instruments that are played by the hands of my people shall surpass ten times and many other times that which is done in the underworld, says the Spirit of the LORD.” – Fred Addo.
Participating Musical Groups:
Ambassadors for Christ, Ile-Ife
Anointed Voices for Christ, Ikole-Ekiti
Assurance Voices, Lagos
Calvary Love Singers, UCH, Ibadan
Christ Anited Voices, Ibadan
Elect Singers, Ilorin
Geths’mane Squad Singers, Port Harcourt
Gospel Singers, Ibadan
Happiness Club, All Souls’ Chapel, Ile-Ife
Jesus Fans, Abeokuta
Jesus Generation Singers, Benin-City
Jesus Revolution Voices, Ibadan
Joybells of Jesus, Ogoja
Latter-Day Movers, Iloorin
Living Vessels, Ajaokuta
Pamela Moore and Her Group, Ilesha
Pearl Pre-School, Ile-Ife
Pilgrim Voices, Lagos
Plateau State Christian Corpers’ Band, Jos
Preaching Duet (Segun & Jide), Ibadan
Reconciliation and Liberty Singers, Akure
Redeemed Voices, Benin-City
Redemption Singers, Ile-Ife
Slim & the Band, Benin-City
Songs of Life, Ikole-Ekiti
Soul Reconcilers, Ile-Ife
The Solid Rock, Lagos
The Spring Voices, Ilorin
The Young Voices, Ilorin
Tribute Singers, Ibadan
Truth Crusaders, Agege
Soul Seekers, Zaria
Yemi Ayodele, Ibadan
Kunle Adesina, Ibadan
S. I. Utah
Remi Sonaiya, Ile-Ife
Toyin Ogundepo, Ile-Ife
Diuto Okoronkwo, Ile-Ife
Tonye Ogan, Port Harcourt
Shade Sangowawa, Ile-Ife.
Olugu Orji Olugu
A. Ogunnaike (Mrs)
Panam Percy Paul
William U. Mbansi
R. B. Aliu
Oboh E. Oku
Richard Quam Bruce