Press Release: Singaporean Choir Wins 2 Gold Medals At International Choral Competition
Photo Credits: Interkultur
Hoi An, Vietnam 20 May 2019: One of Kodaly Academy of Music’s school choirs, the Methodist Girls’ School (MGS) (Secondary) Singapore, participated in the 6th Vietnam International Choir Competition (VICC). Held from 15-19 May, the festival is organised by the local city council and Interkultur, the world’s leading organiser of international choir competitions such as the World Choir Games. VICC saw 1000 artists from 10 nations come together to perform in the picturesque UNESCO World Cultural Heritage city of Hoi An.
Led by conductor Albert Tay, the MGS Choir participated in 2 categories. In the “Youth Choirs of Equal Voices” (Category G2, Under 19 years old), they received a Gold award and were awarded category champions. Although MGS was the only choir in the category, category winners are only awarded to the choir with the highest points and must have gained at least a Gold award, failing which no one wins in this category.
The hotly contested “Sacred Choral Music” (Category S) saw excellent university choirs made up of music majors from University of Southern Maine USM Chamber Singers (USA), seasoned adult choirs BAVE Chamber choir (Malaysia) as well as various adult and youth choirs from China and Vietnam. MGS choir achieved a Gold award and second place, losing out only to The Academic Women’s Choir of the University of Tartu (Estonia), a choir made up of students and alumnae of the university.
MGS choir was nominated for the Grand Prix (Grand Prize) for their excellent performance in both categories, and was one of seven choirs from Estonia, Indonesia, Poland, USA and Vietnam to perform in the final Grand Prix concert.
While the pieces that MGS performed included an eclectic mix of international choral repertoire from Canada, Hungary and Italy, pieces by Singaporean composers and NAFA alumni, Dr. Zechariah Goh (Head of Composition, NAFA), Americ Goh and Albert Tay were performed for the first time in Vietnam. Several of these were commissioned by MGS and/or written for their conductor.
It was not all work and no play. The MGS Choir was invited to perform in the Opening Ceremony, an event that was televised on Vietnam Television (VTV) singing Albert Tay’s “LonDali Bridge” and Dick Lee’s “Reach”, participated in masterclasses to learn from expert musicians, listened to other choirs, partook in numerous festivities such as the parade of choirs, friendship concerts where the choir’s incoming student conductors led the choir’s performances as well as participate in the final farewell party held by the riverside in the old town of Hoi An.
Congratulations to the Methodist Girls School (Secondary) Choir and thank you to the school and staff for supporting this trip and event!
“The USM Chamber members enjoyed the high level of music making of the group. These young ladies were fine musicians, mature, and extremely personable.” – Dr. Nicolas Alberto Dosman, Assistant Professor- University of Southern Maine, USA
Some additional quotes from USM Chamber Singers Members –
“They had a glorious tone far beyond their years!”
“They had a sweet and positive energy that was embodied in their music!”
About the Methodist Girls School Choir: https://www.mgs.moe.edu.sg/secondary/mg-curriculum/co-curricular-activities-cca/performing-arts/choir (accessed 19 May 2019)
About Albert Tay (Conductor) https://tayalbert.com (accessed 19 May 2019)