A 4-hour wait at the airport followed by a 4-hour flight, and you will find all 66 of us sleepy heads, including our conductor, Mr. Augustine Paul, our assistant conductor, Mr. Ebenezer and our accompanist, Mr. Immanuel, waiting to board buses at the Changi Airport, ready to take on 2 days of concerts. By Kavya Joseph.
It’s interesting to see this group from 18-70 years of age, all bubbling with energy similar to that of 5 year olds. A quick freshening up and 10 minutes later you’ll find a whole bunch of us at the Hawker Center opposite the hotel gorging on food. What’s even more interesting is how a group of 4, would become a group of 10 effortlessly, moving from lunch by the roadside, to sightseeing at the Gardens. Here’s introducing you to 66 of the 100 plus members that form the Madras Musical Association Choir.
Day 1 at the Paya Lebar Methodist Church had us singing compositions of Beethoven, César Frank, Dvořák, Mendelssohn, Stephen Adams and Rutter. Soloists took on numbers like Through It All, Why me Lord, Four Days Late, the Lord’s Prayer and the Holy City. Furthermore, we had the privilege of singing songs like Ancient Words and Ellam Yesuve, an Indian piece, arranged by our conductor along with the members of the Paya Lebar Choir, rendering to the folks in attendance at the concert a touch of India and Namma Chennai. A sound check, a welcome tea and a concert later, there we were in the basement of this beautiful church, with our warm hosts delving into a community dinner.
Day 2 at St. Andrews Cathedral introduced us to a different sound altogether. Welcomed yet again by incredibly warm hosts, tea and dinner, there we were singing to our hearts content, sacred classical pieces in this uniquely well-designed church.
The beauty in the construction of each church brought forth unexpected yet scintillating acoustics from our choral performances. There’s no feeling in the world like singing and watching your enraptured audience, enjoy, sing along, listen and take home with them videos of our performances. All in all, our trip to Singapore and our experience, was nothing short of AMAZING!
The end of the two concerts also brought with it sheer liberation alongside joy. We had a few days off from protecting our voices. While some folks were scheduled to head back home to Chennai the next morning, the rest of us got another 3-4 days to take in Singapore, in all its entirety. The essence of Singapore ensures a mix of cultures! They also never stop upgrading and improving, so even if you’ve been here one time too many, be sure it’s going to be different by your next visit. And there’s always something left for you to see.