By Emmanuel Gandu
An anthem is the official song of a country, organization, or group that people sing on special occasions.
It’s an expression of the philosophy, vision and mission of the group.
It is meant to project publicly the patriotism, identity, dignity, resolve and pride of the country or organization.
Just like the flag represents the physical symbol of the country or organization, the anthem represents the heartfelt vocal expression of the country or organization.
Therefore, an anthem is sung with great attention, commitment, respect, and honour to the ideals and goals set out in the charter of the group.
Interestingly, the Catholic Church is not averse to the tradition of church anthems.
However, many other Christian denominations are deep into this “Church Anthem” phenomenon to such an extent that the practice have since begun to infiltrate the Catholic Church.
Consequently, some of the Catholic churches, church associations/societies etc have composed their anthems which they render at some important/official occasions.
Therefore, the Parish Priest Rev Fr. Solomon Yayock’s call to the choir of Maria Assumpta Catholic Church Zaria to compose a befitting Anthem for this church comes as not only the bandwagon effect, but a timely good news for use mainly on important occasions outside of the Mass.
This clarion call was during his first Sunday Mass on 20/8/2023 following his posting from St. John’s Ruma Bala to Maria Assumpta Jushi all in Zaria Diocese.
Elements Of An Anthem
In the course of its composition, the anthem is made up of :
A name is the first point of reference to a person, place or thing.
A name gives an identity, and so therefore, an anthem must have a name.
All countries, groups, and churches give names to their anthems.
Nigeria’s first national anthem is titled ‘Nigeria We Hail Thee’ adopted on 1st October, 1960.
The second and current Anthem is titled ‘Arise O Compatriots’ adopted in 1978.
The Ghana national anthem is titled ‘God Bless our Home Land Ghana’ adopted in 1957.
The British National Anthem is titled ‘God Save the King’.
That of the USA is titled ‘Star – Spangled Banner’.
(2) ✍️ LYRICS
• The wordings of the anthem are carefully chosen in such a way as to reflect the philosophy, vision, hopes and aspirations of the group.
• The words are simple to understand and pronounce, yet conveying the true message of the group.
• The words are arranged in stanzas (paragraph) of short few lines with each stanza conveying a unique message theme.
• The general membership/public is often encouraged to write and send in their entries of lyrics from which the chief composer may pick from in the course of the final composition.
(3) 🎼 MUSIC
The music composer composes the song in such an artistic manner as to fit into the lyrics so as to perfectly achieve from the background of vocal harmony, rhythm, and tempo.
This harmonization is intended to give the song a rendition that would be of popular appeal to the listener.
(4) 🎹🎺 INSTRUMENTALS
Having achieved the desired blend of lyrical, vocal and rhythmical harmony, the instruments are infused within the appropriate intervals and choice of notes in order to give the anthem a scintillating melody.
Good luck to the composers.