Victoria Chorale Brought the Soul of Music to Seoul

Victoria Chorale, one of Singapore’s most famous youth choirs, has just concluded a successful concert tour to Seoul, South Korea.

At the special invitation of J&A Music, South Korea's largest publisher of choral and orchestral music, Victoria Chorale performed a full-length concert in Seoul on February 3 to an audience of nearly 2000. The theme of the concert revolved around showing off the choir’s diversity in tackling challenging contemporary and sacred Asian and Western choral music. In particular, the choir also showcased music by a local composer, Dr Zechariah Goh Toh Chai.

The choir’s fresh, young and rejuvenating sound J&A Music heard at the World Choir Games 2006 convinced the Korean corporation to invite the choir to perform at the acclaimed Seoul Arts Centre.

Said Mr Jude Oh, the manager of the Department of International Performing Arts from J&A Music, “I have been planning this for a year. I am really overjoyed that the concert finally took place and that it has received such critical success.”

The concert entitled Victoria Chorale in Korea had an impressive turnout. In the hope of hearing a culturally diverse repertoire executed by an Olympic Champion Choir, many conductors of prestigious choirs such as Seoul City Choir and Ansan City Choir flew to Seoul from all over Korea to attend the concert. Mr KooChun, the chairman of Korean Federation of Choral Music (KFCM), also graced the event.

Mr Yoon Eui Joong, the conductor of the guest choir, Seoul Master Choral, commended, “Victoria Chorale gave a concert at the most professional level.”

Being showered with rave publicity on such a large scale in South Korea is the first for any choir in Singapore’s choral history. Victoria Chorale was featured in a premier Korean publication known as Choir & Organ which reaches out to a strong group of about 2000 choral enthusiasts. The concert was also covered by niche Korean newspaper, Seoul Culture Today. In addition, there was a live webcast and telecast of the concert on Arte TV – a Korean TV Station that plays 24 hours of classical performances. The broadcast of the Victoria Chorale Concert in Korea will also be repeated a further five times this year.

The choir’s resident musical director, Mr Nelson Kwei, was also invited to give a workshop on Southeast Asian choral music at a choral symposium organised by Professor Shin Hua Park from Ewha Womans University. While in Seoul, Victoria Chorale was also invited to perform at a dinner hosted by Mr Chua Thai Keong, Singapore’s Ambassador to South Korea. The choir was then featured on The Korea Times as the Singaporean choir that augured the prosperous 2009.

Mr Nelson Kwei remarked, “This Korea trip and concert has provided us with a brand new perspective on the future direction of Victoria Chorale. Going in the line of becoming a professional choir, being invited to perform in overseas festivals and having the honour to give concerts to an international audience will make us stronger ambassadors of the Singapore choral music.”

Victoria Chorale is grateful for the strong support shown by the National Arts Council, Singapore Tourism Board and People’s Association in making this trip possible.