Schola Cantorum Singapore Performs at the Singapore International Festival of Music

Schola Cantorum Singapore was featured at the Singapore International Festival of Music (SIFoM)! Held from 26 September – 10 October 2015 at the historic ex-parliament house now known as “The Arts House”, this wonderful festival saw a gathering of some of Singapore’s finest young artists and music ensembles.

The choir and their Artistic Director, Albert Tay performed 3 representative choral works by renowned pioneering composer doyen, the late Matthew Leong Yoon Pin. After the processional performance of “Dragon Dance”, Albert proceeded to share with the audience what Leong was like as a man…

“I first got to know Liang Laoshi in 2002 whilst studying at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. He was one of the most patient, mild-mannered man I’ve ever met. He spoke quietly and always in measured tones. Perhaps his music best reflects his personality… his pieces were not usually dramatic in expression, but always underpinned by solid craftsmanship, expressing the subtlest ideas with an economy of means.”

Schola Cantorum Singapore featured at the Singapore International Festival of Music.

Schola Cantorum Singapore featured at the Singapore International Festival of Music.

Leong’s unpublished score “Nightmare” and its patriotic overtones were given its due passionate delivery. Before concluding the concert with Leong’s arrangement of “Bengawan Solo” to an appreciative audience and long applause, Albert gave a touching tribute to his composition teacher and role model.

“Leong lived at the Bayshore, Marine Parade on a high floor. The beach is never far from his sight… During my repeated pilgrimages to his sea-view home for scores, curry fish head lunches at Bedok, and the many conversations about music, conducting, composition, current affairs and life itself, his sharing revealed a passionate human being who is humble, unassuming and unaffected by the trappings of (what others might view as) ‘success’. His kind actions show an extremely considerate character, who is always putting others before self. Thank you Mr Leong for being a living role model to us all.”

Music reviewer Dr. Chang Tou Liang wrote an article about Schola Cantorum’s performance in “#4: Singapura”! The music review, titled “Protest song warns against apathy” is a direct reference to Schola Cantorum’s performance of Leong Yoon Pin’s “Nightmare” and was published in Singapore’s official newspaper “The Strait Times” on 9 October 2015! Read the original Straits Times article here and Dr. Chang’s blogpost here!