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St. Joseph’s Private School (SJPS) Chamber Choir clinched the Gold Award in the Virtual Choir category at the 11th Bali International Choir Festival (BICF) that was held from July 25 to 28.

Their winning choral performance was a medley of folksongs, arranged by the award-winning Singaporean conductor, Toh Ban Sheng.

The SJPS Chamber Choir was pitted against the children’s choirs and youth choirs from Indonesia and Hong Kong in the same category.

Their medley of “Rasa Sayang” and “Lenggang Kangkong” won the Gold Award with a total score of 83.85.

Another win for SJPS Kuching

This Bali International Choir Festival achievement is yet another feather in their cap as they have recently bagged the Gold B Award in the Pre-record (Teenage Category) and was the first runner-up in the Teenage Youth Choir Category at the National Choir Competition, organised by the Malaysian Choral Eisteddfod from July 16 to 17.

In their virtual performance for the BICF, the choir members were arrayed in the traditional costumes, reflecting the cultural harmony of Malaysia.

Their harmonious voices were complemented by traditional Iban and Orang Ulu dance movements.

It was filmed in the grounds of the Sarawak Museum and Museum Garden in Kuching with the message for all to visit our beautiful country.

You can see the video of their performances below.

Behind the performances

The Chamber Choir’s conductor, Mr. Benedict Lo, explained that this location was chosen as the bandstand in the Museum Garden and is also significant in the history of the local performing arts.

The legendary Constabulary Band used to play at the bandstand during the weekends in the 1960s. It was a weekend tradition for Kuchingites to visit the garden and listen to their musical performances.

With the continuous guidance and support given by Lo and Tiffany Jane, teacher-in-charge, the school’s chamber choir has grown from strength to strength since its inception in 2017.

Their signature performances that garner international attention always feature Malaysian folksongs and cultures.

Lo said that though the renditions of some of our folksongs are getting more popular in recent years, it is still a challenge to arrange and produce them for the international stage.

It is his hope that through the performances of the SJPS Chamber Choir, more young people would be encouraged to sing and perform our local folksongs. “Be proud of our history and heritage,” Lo said.

Watch them live!

The award winning SJPS Chamber Choir will sing for a worthy cause, performing live at “Rhythm and Colour 2022: The Family Celebrates!” on Aug 5 and 6 at 7.30 p.m.

This variety show will celebrate the anniversaries of the St. Joseph’s Family of Schools Kuching as well as to raise funds for the new school building.

The new building block will have much-needed learning facilities such as a music studio and a multi-purpose hall.

The event will be live-streamed free via the “Rhythm and Colour” official website.

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