Saturday, March 10, 2007.
By: ISAAC M. QUIST
THE much-awaited annual choral concert in Accra dubbed the Pappoe Thompson Choral Festival which comes off usually just before the annual March Independence Anniversary took place at the Centre for National Culture (Arts Centre) in Accra on Friday, March 2, 2007 with a great sense of patriotism and an air of pomp and pageantry.
Mr. Emmanuel Pappoe Thompson, a teacher whose patriotic songs were, perhaps, second only to those of Ephraim Amu as aired on GBC radio was himself modest and little known to the listening public.
A student of Amu who was asked during Acheampong’s era to rewrite the lyrics of the National Anthem originally written by the great composer, Mr. Phillip Gbeho, was caught between two rival composers both of whom he was favourably placed.
Many were asking for Yen Ara Asase Ni for its patriotic lines which unsettled the frivolous lyric of Gbeho.
Yet, the enthusiasm and inspiration in Gbeho’s music was unbeatable and overwhelming.
I believe the matter is finally settled, “Lift up the flag of Ghana” now reads “God bless our homeland Ghana”.
On the afternoon, the celebration earmarked two achievements – Ghana @ 50 and Pappoe Thompson Choral @ 20.
Most of the songs sang by the choirs came from these two composers of patriotic Ghanaian choral music – Ephraim Amu and Emmanuel Pappoe Thompson. Every choir sang at least one song from their repertory.
Thirteen choirs in Greater Accra especially those in the organizations at Tema.
They included Voices of IRS, Ghapoha Choir, Castle Staff Choir, Aphos Choir of Accra Psychiatric Hospital and Voices of Democracy from Parliament House.
Other splendid voices came from Municipal Voices (Tema Municipal Association), Fire Vibration (GNFS), Lotto Voices (Department of National Lotteries), Voices of Audit, Voices of Education from the Ghana Education Service and Highway Advocates from Ghana Highway Authority.
In fact, it is now accepted that motivation of workers as well as high productivity of workers can be placed firmly in the workplace as a social organization.
Give the workers all the monies but if you don’t see them as persons you will fail. Management today is even defined as the person.
What is encouraging though is that all these organizations are places most girls especially like to work, I believe, not just because of the money but the esteem and the motivation.
An English Music Professor in Ghana once told me that the success of gospel music in Ghana is that Ghanaian women have very beautiful voices in addition to the fact that for the fist time women who climb the stage are now respected and not deemed as prostitutes.
What is important is that they went through those stages that we now go through, which means hope for Ghanaian music and theatre.
In the Minister’s address read by the Regional Director of National Commission on Culture, Mr. Sefah Twerefour, Hon. S.K. Boafo, Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, asked the Centre to rethink the name Pappoe Thompson Choral Concert since the region has produced many great artistes including Amon Kotey, Saka Acquaye, Ablade Glover, and others worth honouring.
A good suggestion that is significant, because not much Christian songs were sang but only patriotic ones.
Secondly, most of these other great artistes were visual artistes who made lots of money from exhibitions unlike Pappoe Thompson, the school teacher.
It is visual art that must sponsor all these awards if they must also benefit from their profits.
THE SPECTATOR - Saturday, March 10, 2007 Page: 15