One of the key attributes of a regular divine service is music. There would always be one or more of the following to provide that inspiration: a choir, an orchestra or an organist. Undeniably, music at the celebration of a Chief-Apostle-led divine service cannot go wrong. Three years ago, the Chief Apostle praised the Cape Coast united choir for a fantastic ministration. This time, the baton has been passed on to Accra and Volta-Central.
Deacon Lamptey is under pressure. He is the lead choir master for the 150-man Accra United choir. He has 14 more days to ready his team and they must sing through nose masks.
The Chief NAC Reporter & Editor, Bishop Eric Ampadu, spoke with him minutes after the Lead Apostle’s service last Sunday to share his thoughts on preparations so far.
NAC reporter: How does it feel to be prepare and lead the choir for a Chief Apostle service?
Deacon Lamptey: To be frank, it is not an easy task. Preparing the choir for a Chief Apostle service means preparing the choir for the whole world. Everybody will have a look at the performance. So as a leader, I have to do everything possible to make the choir practices very successful. Maybe one or two mistakes may arise, we are humans. But we are aiming at perfection.
NAC reporter: The Chief Apostle likes to enjoy the culture of the people he visits. Any plans to render some local songs?
Deacon Lamptey: Yes, we have a lot of local pieces to perform if we are given the time.
NAC reporter: How has the attendance of choir practices been?
Deacon Lamptey: Actually, the attendance is often between 140 and 150 choristers. The majority of the choristers making that number is from Accra East and West. Choristers from Kasoa also join in the preparation.
NAC reporter: What has been your biggest challenge in preparing the mass choir?
Deacon Lamptey: Most often, getting all of the choristers at the same time causes a problem for us the choirmasters. Because, today a chorister would come, tomorrow he or she may ask permission to attend to a personal engagement very important to them. In this instance, you can’t stop them. This is the main challenge.
NAC reporter: I am aware at Osu that the Rector sponsors the transportation of the choir to rehearsals. Are you aware of this and are the other congregations doing the same to support the choristers?
Deacon Lamptey: Yes, it was arranged by the District Rectors for Congregational Rectors to support the choristers in their transportation. Many of the choristers complained about transportation, so it something that had to be considered and done. Additionally, we have also organized meals for every chorister who attends practices. Most of them leave home in the mornings for their regular congregational divine services and travel long distances to join us here for choir practice. It is the least we could do, to meet them halfway in their sacrifices.
NAC reporter: Does the orchestra rehearse with the choir?
Deacon Lamptey: No. They rehearse separately.
NAC reporter: Today, for example, I noticed the orchestra played limited songs. Is there a plan to have a joint performance with the mass choir?
Deacon Lamptey: For now, no. At best, the choir would perform with the organist. As you noticed most of them are amateurs and upcoming. We realized the time it would take for the orchestra to learn and master selected anthems might be a stretch for them. And so they would be limited to the regular congregational hymns.
NAC reporter: There’s another point I’m concerned with; do you think singing in nose masks will hamper the performance of the choir?
Deacon Lamptey: Absolutely, because even as I'm granting this interview I feel uncomfortable in the nose mask but because of COVID, I have nothing to do than to abide by the safety protocols.
After about 15 minutes, Bishop Eric Ampadu thanked Deacon Lamptey for his time. The Choir Master had to refresh quickly and begin choir practice for that day. Yes, it is 1:14 PM, a little over an hour since the end of the divine service, and there is a choir rehearsal!
We wish Deacon Lamptey and the choir the very best in their preparation.