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Aldersgate Hymn Festival to premiere 10 new Asian musical settings for Wesley’s hymns

Event celebrates Charles Wesley’s 300th birthday

New arrangements composed by seven Asian musicians

HOW better to celebrate the 300th birthday of Charles Wesley than to hear and sing his hymns in fresh new Asian settings? Singaporeans will have the chance to do just that at the Aldersgate

Hymn Festival on May 20, 2007 at Victoria Concert Hall. The festival begins at 7.30 pm. Guests are encouraged to be seated by 7.15 pm.

Organised by the Methodist School of Music (MSM), in conjunction with the Aldersgate Convention 2007, the event will premiere 10 new Asian musical settings for Wesley’s hymns, composed by seven Asian musicians.

Charles Wesley, born on Dec 18, 1707, was the younger brother and active collaborator of Methodist founder, John Wesley. A trained musician, preacher and poet, he wrote more than 9,000 poems of which about 6,000 are hymns.

In his lifetime, more than 60 hymn collections were published for the use of the early Methodists. Many of his hymns remain popular today in churches of all denominations and have been translated into many languages.

The Hymn Festival will combine congregational singing and choir anthems.

A total of 17 choirs will be taking part in the festival, including many adult and children’s choirs from local Methodist churches from the three Annual Conferences, as well as the Methodist Girls’ School Choir, the MSM Choir and the Celebration Chorus.

There will also be a Combined Children’s Choir with members drawn from the MSM, Toa Payoh Methodist Church, Toa Payoh Chinese, Telok Ayer Chinese, Paya Lebar Chinese and Ang Mo Kio Chinese Methodist Church.

Among the composers are local musicians, Lim Swee Hong, lecturer at Trinity Theological College, Jusuf Kam, music director at Wesley Methodist Church, So Heng, a member of Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church, and Mary Tan, a member of Wesley Methodist Church.

The other Asian musicians are Joy T. Nilo from the Philippines, Chan Hung Da of Taiwan and Pastor Lu Chen Tiong, lecturer at the Methodist Theological Seminary in Sibu.

A collection of all the new music will be on sale at the Hymn Festival at a cost of $20 a set.

Admission to the Aldersgate Hymn Festival is by ticket only, for a donation of $15. Available proceeds will augment the MSM Ministry and Scholarship Fund. For more information, contact the Methodist School of Music at 6767-5258 or go to www.msmusic.edu.sg