The choir “Donaldian Ensemble” was founded in November 2011 as a non-denominational performing troupe based in Owerri, in SouthEast Nigeria. Harnessing the hobbies and talents of members in choral music, dance and drama, the choir made her first international appearance in July, 2014 with a repertoire of sacred and indigenous Nigerian choral music during the Ihlombe South African Choral Festival in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Soweto, South Africa.
Locally, the choir has featured in several State events and popular music festival in Nigeria including the Presidential Christmas Carol at the State House Banquet Hall in Abuja, Official, and Receptions for the President during State visits in Imo, Command performances for individuals and Corporates as well as numerous religious events. Performing the Nigerian National anthem in three major Nigerian languages earned the choir the first position in the Choral Music category during the maiden edition of the Annual Cultural Carnival organized by The Federal Polytechnic Nekede Owerri in 2014.
In the same year, Donaldian Ensemble was overwhelmingly voted “Best Choral Group in South East Nigeria” at an award ceremony hosted by Starlett Entertainment Awards Nigeria. The Ensemble prides herself in her rich repertoire of western classical, folk, negro-spiritual, ethnic African and indigenous Nigerian choral compositions, delivered in superlative entertaining performances!
The choir is directed by Okechukwu J. Akamike and with 52 members; Donaldian Ensemble holds an annual concert- “Dolce Sinfonia” featuring a selection of sacred, classical music and indigenous Nigerian choral arrangements with a fusion of dance currently in its fifth series.
Meet the Conductor
Okechukwu Joseph Akamike has conducted different choirs for more than 18 years. As his most significant positions, one should single out the position of conductor of the choir of the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture “Olu Imo” (2007) which took the first position in choral competition segment during the National Festival of Arts and Culture in 2007. He also conducted the Mass Choir during the Presidential Christmas Carol at the Presidential Villa in Abuja in 2012.
Furthermore he was choirmaster to the choir of St Joseph’s Chaplaincy, Imo State University Owerri from 2001 to 2004, Assistant Music Director of the choir “KORO ROSA” (2004-2006), and Music Director of the choir “IHE IMO” (2007-2009) under the sponsorship of Imo Newspapers Ltd. He had a brief stint as Choral instructor to the choir of St. Cletus Catholic Church Nnewi between 2008 and 2009. Since 2011 he has been conducting the choir “Donaldian Ensemble” after a stint with the parish choir of St Maria Goretti Catholic Church Ikenegbu Owerri.
Akamike has attended several choral music workshops, most notably the Ihlombe Festival Workshop on songs and dances of the Bantu held in Soweto, South Africa as organized by the Imilonji Kantu Choral Society and Classical Movements USA. With nearly all the choirs he worked with, he has held concerts of a capella and vocal music with instrumental accompaniment, also participating in national competitions and events. He also plays the saxophone while his dexterity with the drums remains a pure delight.