Bigard Music Competition 2014

“On the 13th April, 1742, the music hall in Dublin resounded to the applause of an enthusiastic audience. For the first time in history, the great musical oratorio, Messiah, had been presented; and the conductor on that occasion, was none other than the composer himself, George Frederick Handel. Since then, it has been rendered time and again, in all parts of the world, and thousands of people have sat enthralled by the majestic choruses, and moving solos, of this wonderful oratorio.

The music is thrilling, rising to heights of drama and pathos that stir to the innermost being of those who listen to it” (H. P. Mansfield, from his booklet entitled “The Gospel in Song”). The above words of H. P. Mansfield, portrays vividly in words the experience of the events of 2014 Bigard inter-house choir competition, held on April 12th, 2014. No wonder music is said to be the language of the soul. And according to St. Augustine: “He who sings well prays twice”.

The spiritual, social and intellectual encounter was set rolling by the opening prayer said by Rev. Fr. Dr. Anthony Eze. The Rector, Rev. Fr. Dr. Theophilus Ukoro Igwe, in his welcome address, welcomed everybody and remarked on the essence of music in the life of the church. According to him, “music is integral to the celebration of the liturgy because it assists one in expressing one’s thanksgiving and in the deepening of one’s reverence for God”.

He stressed further: “the musical competition is not an end in itself, rather, a means to an end. This means that the aim of the competition is to improve on the quality of singing in the seminary and to develop oneself in the way of praising God”. In a special way, he expressed his unalloyed sentiments of gratitude to the music director, Rev. Fr. Dr. Cletus Umezinwa, for his spirited devotion in improving the standard of music in Bigard. He appreciated in no mean measure the choirmasters and organists of different houses for their sacrifices in organizing the event. He was also deeply appreciative of the Judges, who despite their tight schedules graced the occasion.

Furthermore, the music director, Rev. Fr. Dr. Cletus Umezinwa, after the rector’s address, presented briefly an address indicating just as the rector did, that the aim of the competition was to improve the musical skills of seminarians; “to make them not just sing but to sing well, to improve their voice production, to be able to read solfa notation without tears and compose liturgical songs”. He point out, that they selected highly qualified and experienced professionals in music to serve as the judges. The judges were: Rev. Prof. Sr. Cordis-Mariae Achike, Prof. Richard Okafor and Dr. Joe Onyekwelu.

The competition then started after the different house masters had been called to pick their time of performance.

At the end of the performance by the different houses and other individual performances, the judges appreciated the Bigard family for entrusting them with such responsibility. After few corrections, they suggested that students who were talented in music should be allowed to study music as a discipline.

The results of the competition were then released thus:


Name of Houses Total Scores Average Position Choir Number
St Francis 1167 389 1st No. 8
St Gregory 1158 386 2nd No. 7
St Anthony 1149 383 3rd No. 5
Blessed Iwene Tansi 1082 360.7 4th No. 12
St Stephen 1066 355.3 5th No. 9
St Mark 1066 355.3 5th No. 3
St Albert 1019 339.7 6th No. 11
Immaculate Conception 1016 338.7 7th No. 10
St Vincent 993 331 8th No. 2
St Emmanuel 976 325.3 9th No. 4
St Mary 966 322 10th No. 1
Queen Of The Apostles 963 321 11th No. 6



Name of House Total Score Average Position Choir Number
St Francis 186 62 1st 8
Blessed Iwene Tansi 180 60 2nd 12
St Anthony 180 60 3rd 5
St Gregory 178 59.3 4th 7
St Stephen 176 58.7 5th 9
Emmanuel 169 56.3 6th 4
Immaculate Conception 162 54 7th 10
St Albert 160 53.3 8th 11
St Mark 159 53 9th 3
St Vincent 146 48.7 10th 2
St Mary 141 47 11th 1
Queen of The Apostles 141 47 11th 6



Name of House Total Score Average Position Choir Number
St Gregory 226 75.3 1ST 7
St Anthony 223 73.3 2ND 5
St Francis 218 72.7 3RD 8
St Albert 214 71.3 4TH 11
Blessed Iwene Tansi 212 70.7 5TH 12
St Mark 210 70 6TH 3
St Stephen 206 68.7 7TH 9
Immaculate Conception 205 68.3 8TH 10
St Mary 196 63.3 9TH 1
Emmanuel 186 62 10TH 4
St Vincent 185 61.7 11TH 2
Queen of The Apostles 165 55 12TH 6




1st Position – St Francis’ House

2nd Position – St Gregory’s House

3rd Position – St Anthony’s House



1st Position – St Francis’ House

2nd Position – Blessed Iwene Tansi House

3rd Position – St Anthony’s House



1st Postion – St Gregory’s House

2nd Position – St Anthony’s House

3rd Position – St Francis’ House


Finally, the vote of thanks was done by Rev. Fr. Dr. Blaise Emebo. The closing prayer was taken by Rev. Fr. T. Anyanwu.

Leave a Reply