THE Methodist School of Music (MSM) celebrated its 11th Anniversary with a Thanksgiving Service in the TA2 Sanctuary of Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church on April 26.
Present were members, supporters and representatives from the different churches and musical organisations that the MSM had impacted and enriched over the one decade since its founding.
Representatives from The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) and the local churches were also present. Among them were Bishop Emeritus Wong Kiam Thau, Trinity Annual Conference President, the Rev Dr Wee Boon Hup, Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference President, the Rev James Nagulan, and the Rev Chong Chin Chung, representing the Chinese Annual Conference.
The MSM Ballet students heralded the start of the service, setting the tone for an evening of worship and celebration. The service was centred around the Psalms – the most sacred canon of hymns and spiritual songs that have been the focus of Christian worship ever since the days of the early Christians.
In the service were Psalms of Praise, Lament and Confession, Trust and Thanksgiving. These were led by the harmonious voices of the 100-voice Anniversary Choir, an amalgam of seven different adult and children’s choirs united by the conductor, Mrs Judith Laoyan- Mosomos. They were sung and celebrated in diverse ways – as anthems, Taizé chants, hymns; and had different musical styles, contemporary, traditional and ethnic.
A special feature of the evening was the Asian premiere of the anthem “We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight”, performed with the special permission of the composer, Dr Michael Burkhardt. Also enchanting the congregation at the Thanksgiving Service was the melodious pealing of the recently-formed MSM Ringers, the handbell choir.
A significant milestone was commemorated during the service with the launch of the MSM Visiting Professors’ Fund in memory of the late Mr Wong Ha Hee, a Methodist leader and a lover of music. The fund will serve to support the engagement of specialists and scholars in various areas of church music and liturgy to enrich the life and worship of the MCS.
Five Staff Service Awards and 18 Book Prizes for the Top Distinction Scorers of music examinations were presented at the service.
Victor Li studies organ, piano and voice at the Methodist School of Music. He worships at Barker Road Methodist Church.
Enduring practice of singing the psalms
THE Church Music Encounter 2008 organised by the Methodist School of Music (MSM) will focus on “The Enduring Practice of Singing the Psalms: Questions for Singing Them Today”.
The programme will be held at the MSM, 496 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Level 3, John Wesley Centre, on Aug 26 from 7.30 pm to 10 pm.
It will be conducted by Dr Emily Brink, Senior Research Fellow of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and Editor Emeritus of Reformed Worship, a quarterly journal published by Christian Reformed Church Publications.
Her visit is made possible by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and the MSM Visiting Professors’ Fund in memory of the late Mr Wong Ha Hee. The fee is $10 per person. For registration, call 6767-5258 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Church Music Encounter 2008 will also present two workshops with S. T. Kimbrough, Jr. They are the “Meet the New Fanny J. Crosby” workshop to be held at the MSM on Aug 28 at 7.30 pm, and the “How to Worship – How to Live” workshop at Kampong Kapor Methodist Church on Aug 29 at 7.30 pm.
Dr Kimbrough has had successful parallel careers as a musician, academician/churchman, and is an author with widespread experience in all three fields.
The registration fee is $10. For more details, contact Judith Laoyan-Mosomos at tel: 6767-5258.
■ The MSM will present “The Los Angeles Collaboration in Concert” at Orchard Road Presbyterian Church on Aug 16 at 7.30 pm. Admission is free.
The concert will feature a violin-piano duo presenting classical to sacred music to jazz.
Dr Duane Funderburk, Dean of the School of Music at Azusa Pacific University in Southern California, will play the piano, and Mr Alex Russell, who performs regularly with the Pasadena Symphony and is Director of Chamber Music at Azusa Pacific University, will play the violin.