Choir raises funds for Cambodian kindergarten
That was the well-known song from The Prince of Egypt animated feature that a St Ignatius parish choir sang together with children from a Cambodian kindergarten.
The smiling kids, however, were not on stage together with the Soli Deo Gloria (SDG) chorale, but were singing their hearts out on a video clip projected on two screens behind the choir.
Some 800 people attended the concert titled Faithful, held in the Church of St Ignatius on July 19. The event was to raise funds for the Catholic-run Mother of Peace Kindergarten in Poipet, Cambodia, which serves 75 needy kids. Many of them are poor or former street children.
“The only words to express this initiative is, ‘I am very inspired,’” said Ms Christine Yuan, 21, a member of the audience. “It’s inspiring to know that the funds for this concert will go to helping such a meaningful cause.”
The concert was divided into four segments – Joy in Faith, Hope in Faith, Act of Faith and Miracle of Faith.
The 47-member chorale wore Cambodian scarfs with the Mother of Peace kindergarten logo on them and sang a mixture of English and Latin songs on faith.
Jesuit Fr Mark Aloysius, who is based at the church, also sang a song he composed titled Sensus Christi (Sensibility of Christ).
This was the second time that the chorale has staged a concert to raise funds for the kindergarten. The first concert, Thankful, was in 2010.
Chorale leader Anthony Siow told CatholicNews that his group decided to assist the kindergarten after hearing from a Singaporean volunteer how the kindergarten was lacking funds, and learning about the plight of the kids.
The future of the kids “were all so uncertain”, said Mr Siow. “They were literally milling around the streets and anyone could have just taken them away.” Helping the kindergarten is an extension of “what it means to have faith”, he said.
Other than the kindergarten being the choir’s adopted charity, each SDG chorale member is also “assigned a child to pray for”, said Mr Siow.
Two nuns from the Missionary Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSSHJ), who are working in the kindergarten, were present at the concert.
Sr Cecilia Herrera, kindergarten principal, said she was happy to “work together” with the Singapore chorale. “We receive and we give. I think this is our faith,” she said.
“I cannot believe that I’m here to participate in this concert,” said her fellow nun, Sr Hasmuti Gamit. “It’s a wonderful gift to us.”
Proceeds from the concert will go to the upkeep of the kindergarten, and to “raise awareness” of it and the impoverished state of Poipet”, said Ms Susanna Ng, a chorale conductor.
By Lorna O’Hara