This year, the choir had the privilege of travelling to Hanoi, Vietnam as part of their overseas choral exchange with choirs in the CHORUM program (19th November – 24th November 2019).
The choir’s CHORUM program grew from their desire to progress their education and development in nurturing the beauty of Sacred Music, while also promoting friendship with choirs in the region. The program was first implemented in June of 2018 in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). This year, the choir is very fortunate to have the Hanoi Catholic Youth Choir (HCYC) host them.
The Hanoi Catholic Youth Choir is currently under the batonship of Ms. Dieu Vu, assisted by Mr. Quang Son-He. The choir was formed in 2015 and serves at the parish of Thai Ha Church (Dong Da). They have been awarded accolades from various performances, as well as their annual participation at the Vietnam International Choir Competition (Hoi An).
Members from SPP CHOIR departed Singapore for Hanoi on 19th November 2019, and met up with their hosts on 20th November for a series of Voice Masterclasses with Mrs. Thang Long, a Meritorious Artist and a leading Soprano in Vietnam. Various voices had the opportunity to receive coaching from her and were surprised at how quick they were able to achieve results under her guidance.
Both choirs presented two evenings of concerts to full-house audiences at the Cua Bac Church and the St. Joseph’s Cathedral of Hanoi. Vivaldi’s “Gloria” (RV589) was the highlight at the concert hosted by the Cua Bac Church, while a mixed palette of chants, Sacred Polyphonies, choral anthems and Solo arias were presented at the Cathedral in their 2nd concert.
While we thoroughly had a fruitful and enjoyable time with a mix of fellowship, choir rehearsals, workshops, exchange of ideas with their Vietnam counterparts, the members of SPP Choir also squeezed in time to also see the city’s sights. Many extended their trip after CHORUM to venture farther out of Hanoi to Ha Long Bay, as well as to Sapa.
It would be another memorable experience, and friendships that will continue to grow.
We wish to express our thanks and appreciations to the musicians who accompanied both choirs while we performed Vivaldi’s “Gloria” (RV 589). To the rectors of both Cua Bac Church and the St. Joseph’s Cathedral of Hanoi for their warm hospitality and after concert parties. Our heartfelt appreciations to the members of Hanoi Catholic Youth Choir and their families. And finally, to Ms. Dieu for the months of legwork and co-ordination to prepare and organize our experience in Hanoi.
We had a blast the weekend before leaving for CHORUM 2019: Hanoi. Celebrating the choir’s 35th anniversary – we laughed, we teased, we drank, we caught up. We forged deeper friendships, and enjoyed each other’s fellowship.
The choir was founded in 1984 by Mr. Thomas Tan, a music scholar under the sponsorship of MOE in the 1960s, and now serving as a member of the Extra-ordinary Minister of Holy Communion. We owe what we have today to the earlier members and pioneers of this choir.
And now, we also appreciate our leaders, especially Christopher See who has been at the helm since 2005 being our choir’s Chairman. We thank our choristers for their patient dedication and diligence in support of the Choral Development Program. Finally, our benefactors, patrons and members of the parish who have supported and sustained us by their prayers and encouragement.
May we continue to help her grow, and benefit the parish community of Sts. Peter & Paul (Singapore), and may our contributions add to her legacy for many generations to come.