Happenings, News


Wide variety of courses, workshops for singers and musicians

THE Methodist School of Music’s (MSM) Church Music Encounter 2005, to be held from Sept 3 to Oct 22, will comprise three courses and seven workshops.

The courses are: “Explore The World of Singing”, “The Soloist”, both to be conducted by Ms Leona Quek, and “Beginning Choral Conducting”, to be conducted by Ms Wong Lai Foon. All three courses will be held at the MSM (Lecture Room).

The first course is designed for conductors who wish to further understand the art of singing and develop voices of the choir. It is also useful for choir members. It will be conducted over eight Saturdays from Sept 3 to Oct 22 from 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm. Participants will be given the opportunity to sing pieces of their own choice during the Vocal Clinic as well as study pieces together as a group.

“The Soloist” is organised for those who have attended the foundation singing course conducted earlier by Ms Quek, and for soloists or lead singers in a choir. It will also be held over eight Saturdays from Sept 3 to Oct 22, from 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm.

Ms Quek, a teaching associate at the MSM, also directs the Living Praise Presbyterian Church (Mandarin Congregation) Choir and teaches part-time at Nanyang Technological University and the Singapore Bible College.

The “Beginning Choral Conducting” course is designed for church choir conductors who want to acquire some basic conducting skills. These skills will be learned in a hands-on manner through the participation, singing and conducting of anthems of various styles. The seven-session course will run from Sept 10 to Oct 22 from 2.30 pm to 5 pm.

The course lecturer, Ms Wong, is a member of the renowned Westminster Choir and has performed alongside major American orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

The seven workshops are: “Explosive Drums!!”, to be led by Mr Jeremy Yeo, “The Low End Foundation” (Mr Thomas Ee) “Improvising With Guitar” (Mr Eugene Wong) “More Than Just Strumming” (Mr Chan Kum Soon), “Black Keys, White Keys” (Mr Raymond Fong), “Vocals Express” (Ms Renee Lee), and “Band Dynamics” (Mr Thomas Ee).

The workshops are for people with prior knowledge and basic proficiency in their instruments.

They will be held at Fairfield Methodist Church, Tanjong Pagar Road, on Sept 17 from 2 pm to 9.30 pm.

For more details on the courses and workshops, call 6767-5258 or go to www.msmusic.edu.sg


Methodist leader made Knight by French Govt

MR CHOU FANG SOONG (above), Chairman of the Local Church Executive Committee of Bedok Methodist Church and Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Methodist Missions Society, was recently conferred the title of Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Merite by the French Government.

He was awarded the title for his “sustained contributions to the betterment of Franco-Singaporean relations within the information technology and electronic system industries fields”, according to the French Embassy in Singapore.

As President of Gemplus (South-east Asia), Mr Chou is a well-known pioneer of the smart-card industry in Asia, and has been involved in the development of innovative smart card programs in the region. Some of these programs include the use of smart cards for Loyalty, Stored Value, Electronic Passport, Mobile Banking and Electronic Road Pricing System.

Mr Chou has been instrumental in helping Gemplus establish and maintain its position as a market leader in the region, with an estimated share of 35 per cent.

L’Ordre National du Merite (The National Order of Merit) is an Order of Chivalry awarded by the President of France. It was founded on Dec 3, 1963 by former French President Charles de Gaulle.

The Order is awarded to French nationals or foreigners for distinguished civil and military achievements whether in France or abroad.

L’Ordre National du Merite comprises three ranks: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), and Commandeur (Commander).