The 14 Hymntestants (contestants) for Hymnodia reality TV show Season One on hymns have entered the show’s house (Hymnstitute) for the commencement of the 13-week contest which will reward the winner with the Asaph (a specially designed award named after David’s chief musician), ₦5million and a brand-new car.
The hymntestants were received into the Hymnstitute at an exclusive, glamorous ceremony which was well attended by stakeholders in the industry, members of the faculty and the media in Ikeja, Lagos, on Sunday, February 10, 2019.
It was an evening of fun as the hymntestants thrilled the audience with classical and contemporary hymns, showcasing their talents and demonstrating the art of worship which Hymnodia represents. Hymns rendered at the ceremony included Old Rugged Cross, Great is Thy Faithfulness, It is Well with my Soul and How Great Thou Art. Others were Saviour Blessed Saviour, Until Then, among others. With beautiful performances, the hymntestants were very excited, commending Hymnodia for reviving the almost forgotten hymn culture among young Nigerians.
The 14 hymntestants – six female and eight male – were selected through a painstaking two-day audition held at the Lagos Television (LTV8) that pruned the thousands of entries to 200, followed by post audition evaluations by the Hymnodia faculty.
They finalists were revealed through the Hymnodia social media handle: @hymnodiahq on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
A twist was however introduced into the “Arrival Show” ceremony when a 15thcontestant, Casey Edema, a tenor singer, who was the 15th hymntestant, was given the opportunity to battle to enter the Hymnstitute at the expense of one of the 14.
The Dean of the Hymnstitute, Benneth Ogbeiwi invited all the male hymntestants to the stage as he announced that their names would be put in a ballot for Edema to pick who to challenge. Edema dipped his hand into the bag and the name of Kenneth Ekhuemelo, a baritone singer, emerged.
Urging Edema and Ekhuemelo to demonstrate their talent as an evictee would only be part of the Hymnodia Choir if it suits him, Ogbeiwi stated: “this is a battle for success. May the best hymntestant win.”
With high spirit, both hymntestants put up classic performances. Edema sang Great is Thy Faithfulness, was evicted while Ekwemelo, who performed Old Rugged Cross, Going by the response of the audience and the verdict of the faculty, joined the other 13 hymntestants into the Hymnstitute.
The hymntestants commended Hymnodia, saying that it was the first of its kind in the country. They said the Hymnstitute would enhance their talent in the art of writing and singing of hymns.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of Philosoville Limited and project initiator, Kufre Ekanem charged the hymntestants to be of good conduct and to put in to practice what they would be taught by the Hymnodia Faculty, who have hands-on knowledge in writing, singing and teaching of hymns and music.
Elimination from the show, called Hymnviction by the organisers, will be by audience voting once the performance shows start during the 13 weeks of wholesome fun which the initiative would run. This will culminate into a grand finale of the show in April 2019, where the ultimate winner will receive an Asaph, (a specially designed award named after David’s chief musician), a brand-new car and cash prize of ₦5 million.
Hymnodia will be shown for one hour every Sunday on Lagos Television (Channel 256 on DSTv, Channel 90 on GOtv and Channel 118 on Startimes) with a magazine show on same channels on Thursday evening.
Hymnodia is also streamed live online via the LTV App available on the app store and on the dedicated YouTube Channel Hymnodiahq.