The First Winner of the UCCMA 30th Anniversary Anthem Commission

Ihunanya N'di N'otu (Love and Unity)

— Composed by Innocent Okechukwu

The UCCMA is pleased to offer you this anniversary gift from one of the two composers that our committee chose for this exciting commission.

Any congregation in the United Church of Christ or any member of the UCCMA can copy and perform this piece without permission or payment. We hope you will take advantage of this gift and share Innocent's music with your choir and congregation. The second winner of our anniversary commission will be published in the Fall 2023 issue of the journal.




Innocent Okechukwu's Comments:


In today's world, love has been twisted in many ways to mean different things. Unfortunately, these twists and tweaks have resulted in unhealthy relationships with self, partners, and God.

It is noteworthy to trace back Love to God — who is love himself.

Having been commissioned by the UCCMA to compose music that dwells on unity, togetherness, and coming together as one, I can unite all of this into one LOVE!

I write this composition in the Igbo language, which is my native language. The Igbo language is one of the three main languages spoken in Nigeria, West Africa. The Southeastern part of Nigeria speaks the Igbo language.

My reason for writing in my language is that I think in my language, so my lyrical inspiration flowed more easily to pass this terrific message to listeners. Also, my aim as a composer now living and studying in the US is to bring my language, culture, and approach closer to the American people.

I am thankful to the UCCMA for giving me this opportunity to share my knowledge, language, culture, and heritage with them. 

Innocent Okechukwu is a Nigerian composer and pianist with over a hundred compositions to his credit. Innocent has his degree in music from the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), where he majored in composition with a minor in piano. He also holds an advanced certificate in piano performance from the Trinity College of London School of Music in Dubai, UAE, in 2019. Early 2022, he published his first book, Musical Echoes, a collection of his original compositions, available on Amazon. He is currently completing his Masters in Music Composition at Longy School of Music of Bard College, Cambridge, MA, and studied under Professor John Howell Morrison.

Read more about Mr. Okechukwu


Ihunanya N'di N'otu

(Love and Unity)

Composed by Innocent Okechukwu

So Great a Love

By Mel Bringle

We Are All Honored Guests

By Stephen Beals


"The ankh or key of life 

is an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol used in Egyptian art and writing to represent the word for "life" and, by extension, as a symbol of life itself."

— Wikipedia


The first 22 years of Worship, Music & Ministry in print.

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Worship, Music & Ministry is a publication of the United Church of Christ Musicians Association, Inc. and is issued three times a year. The journal is distributed to members of UCCMA as a benefit of membership.

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