A successful tour to the Far East

Posted on: 21 April 2018

The Choir at the Singapore Esplanade

The Choir spent the Easter break on an eventful tour to Hong Kong and Singapore to perform at concerts, services, alumni events, and workshops. We thoroughly enjoyed performing to audiences that included St John's alumni, future students of the College, as well as the Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong; his wife Ho Ching; the British High Commissioner to Singapore, Scott Wightman; and his wife Anne.

Here's Matthew (the chorister) and Matthew (the choral scholar) to describe our visit to these two vibrant destinations:

Glen Demspey, our Herbert Howells Organ Scholar, gave a demonstration on the Klais Organ at the Singapore Esplanade. Some of the examples are often performed in our Chapel... others are not!

Glen gave a performance of Herbert Howells' triumphant 'Paean' on the organ later that evening:

You can enjoy some of our performances at the Hong Kong City Hall. Here you can watch Ned Rorem's Sing, my soul, his wondrous love, Rachmaninoff's Hymn of the Cherubim and finally 茉莉花 (Mo li hua, Jasmine Flower). The arrangment of the latter was written by a former Choral Scholar at St John's College, John Clapham, and Jaylen - one of our choristers and our in-house Mandarin expert - helped us with the pronunciation.

At the Singapore Esplanade, we were honoured to give a repeat performance of the song 'Home' for the Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, and his wife Ho Ching. In 2015, the Choir sang the piece at the Lying in State of Mr Lee's father, Lee Kuan Yew, the founding Prime Minister of Singapore. We dedicate our performance to his memory.

The song was arranged and performed by former Organ Scholar Joseph Wicks in 2015, and in this rendition the soloist is Gopal Kambo.

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Recorded on
12 July 2019


Introit: Howells A Hymn for St Cecilia
Responses and Preces: Radcliffe
Psalm 139 vv. 1–18, 23–24 (Skeats)
Stanford in C
Tavener: The Lord’s Prayer
Parry: Hear my words, ye people
Hymn 408(i)
Voluntary: Parry Fantasia and Fugue in G

Choral singing comes no better

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer