BAU – In conjunction with the Family Year of Hope (2008) and Mission Sunday (19 October), a Parish Choir Festival was held at Fr Luis’ Hall in St Stephen’s Church on 11 October.
Jointly organised by the Archdiocesan Commission for Mission and Evangelisation and St Stephen’s Parish Council, the objectives of the Festival were to promote evangelisation through music and songs (which was the theme of the Festival), to encourage composition of new songs in the local language to be used during Mass and Sunday Services, and to bring families and friends together in a parish activity.
The event was graced by the presence of Fr Patrick Heng (Rector of the Parish), Fr Simon Poh (Chairman of the Commission for Mission and Evangelisation), and Vincent Eddy (Chairman of the Parish Council).
In his welcoming speech, Organising Chairman, Adom Benjamen, explained that the Festival was also specially organised to thank the parishioners for their support during the recent parish fund-raising sale. While officiating the event, Fr Simon stressed the importance and role of music and songs in the service of evangelisation.
Nine church choirs participated, each representing their respective zones, namely: St John (Singai) and St Michael (Sudoh) representing the Singai Zone, St Patrick (Krokong) and St Sylvester (Tringgus) representing the Krokong Zone, St Mathew (Sibuluh) representing the Bratak Zone, the Jambusan Area Choir and the Siniawan Area Choir representing the Serembu Zone, a combined choir representing the Jagoi Zone, and St Stephen representing Bau Proper.
Each choir was required to present two songs – one compulsory original composition and another hymn from a selected list of existing ones. Their performance was judged on five criteria – voice, tempo, music, presentation, and attire.
The choir from St Matthew’s emerged champions in the Festival, with St Michael’s and St Sylvester’s as first and second runners-up respectively.
In his closing remarks, Fr Patrick congratulated all the participating choirs for putting up a performance of high quality. He gave his blessing for the new songs to be used in Sunday services and Masses. He was also pleased to see the large crowd (over 1000 people) comprising families who had turned up for the event, which was specially organised by the Parish Council to “give something back” to the parishioners.
Indeed it was an evening of family entertainment, praising the Lord and sharing the Good News through music and songs.