Ekundayo Phillips

Ekundayo Phillips playing the organ
Ekundayo Phillips 1932

Ekundayo Phillips was a Musicologist and composer, renowned as a doyen of Nigerian church music. Ekundayo was born in 1884 to an Anglican priest, Rev. Charles Phillips. After his training at the CMS Grammar School in Lagos he went to London and trained as a pharmacist. While there, he studied piano, organ, and violin at the Trinity College of Music. Although Ekundayo had his name entered in register of dispensers in 1904 and opened a chemist store after qualifying as a chemist, he is known more for his exploits in music. He was the Master of the Music of the Cathedral Church of Christ, Lagos, from 1914 to1962. He was the first Nigerian to receive professional training in music in the United Kingdom as well as the first to embark on intensive field research into Yoruba traditional music. He composed vesicles, responses and litany in Yoruba. Ekundayo Phillips died in 1969.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer