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Sarawak school emerge champs in Vietnam Choir Competition

The Chamber Choir of St Joseph’s Private Secondary School (SJPSS) had recently emerged as Champion in an international choir competition as they took home the top prize at the Vietnam Choir Competition which was held from from 3rd to 5th April 2023.

The competition, which is the 7th Vietnam International Choir Competition, was held in Hoi An, Vietnam with The Chamber Choir of St Joseph’s Private School sending a group comprising 20 students, 2 alumni and led by conductor and teacher Mr Benedict Lo Jin Chi.

With a repertoire of local Sarawakian and Malaysian songs as well other songs from around the world, the SJPSS Chamber Choir emerged as Winner of the Category of the Category G3 Youth Choirs of Mixed Voices and also won a Gold Diploma V for their efforts.

This was the culmination of many months of hard work as the choir honed their craft and voices in preparation for this competition.

To add sweetness to the achieving, this was the first time that most of the choir members participated in an international competition.

Teacher’s message

In a message back from Vietnam, Mr Benedict Lo wrote that it was an exciting and challenging journey, and was proud of how our students managed to do it all together, learning what it means to work together, laugh together and cry together.

He added that the discipline and passion gained through choral singing is a wonderful means of youth development and is grateful for being able to be part of this process.

The students also shared Mr Lo’s views as one said that ‘I think that my efforts in preparing for the competition made me see that everything requires hard work and nothing comes for free.’ Many others also expressed their gratitude to their parents for their support, recognising everyone who helped to make this happen.

In thanking the school, they expressed their gratitude to Ms Tiffany Jane, choir teacher assisting Mr Lo, and Ms Vivien Ng, who accompanied them to Vietnam.

Following the Vietnam Choir Competition, the choir went on to Danang where they did their bit for the local community by singing at an old-folks home managed by the Sisters of St Paul.

The choir returned to Kuching on 8 April 2023.

Vietnam Choir Competition

The Vietnam International Choir Competition or Vietnam Choir Competition in short, is a biennial competition held in Hoi An, Vietnam.

It brings together choirs from all over the world for a combined experience of choral competitions.

The concert featured an impressive line-up of international choirs showcasing their unique musical styles and talents.

The 2023 competition saw participation from 18 choirs from seven nations which included Malaysia, Slovakia, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and host country Vietnam.

Another one for St Joseph’s Private Secondary School Chamber Choir

This is not the first time the Chamber Choir of St Joseph’s Private Secondary School made Sarawak, and Malaysia proud with their performances.

Previously, the choir had also won the 2nd World Virtual Choir Festival in 2020, before getting the Gold Award in the Virtual Choir category at the 11th Bali International Choir Festival (BICF) in 2022.

In the same year, the choir had also won 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.

Cyril Dason

Cyril Dason was born and currently lives in Kuching. He loves jungle trekking, clean rivers and chilling out with friends.

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