GLORIA! Celebrating the Christmas Story was an aural event that showcased a playlist of well-known hymns across languages and cultures, from Germanic to African—after all, God’s salvation is for everyone—to retell the familiar Advent story.
The concert, organised by Methodist School of Music (MSM), opened with a solo organ performance of “We Sing Now of Christmas” by conductor and organist, Dr Michael Burkhardt. Dr Burkhardt is renowned for his work in hymn festivals and talent with children.
His gift with children was brought to bear for GLORIA! as he worked with young choristers from Kampong Kapor Methodist Church, Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church, Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church and Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church, getting them to gel within a short span of time. Introduced collectively as the Festival Children’s Choir, the children and youth put up a series of memorable numbers and renditions of hymns such as the musical-esque “Mary, Mary” and the rousing classic, “Joy to the World”.
The audience, who packed the Esplanade Concert Hall on 13 Dec, was also treated to solo performances by Daniel Fong, who enthralled with his baritone rendition of “Mary’s Lullaby” and “Christmas Oratario” in German. The concert was also well-supported by the varied voices of the Methodist Festival Choir, made up of volunteers across the various Methodist churches; the MSM Ringers; a 3-octave handbell ensemble; and the graceful Gloria dancers, students of the MSM Ballet department.
Jason Woo is Methodist Message’s Editorial Executive. When not working on the latest articles, he enjoys long jogs and cuddling up with his cats along with a good book.
Photos courtesy of Methodist School of Music