The Church of the Risen Christ is working towards setting up a youth orchestra to provide young people with another avenue of serving the Church.
The initiative came about when Dr Aloysius Leong, who attends the church, approached parish priest Fr John Sim about performing orchestral music in the church to raise funds for cancer-stricken children.
Dr Leong is head of string music at the Australian International School.
Fr Sim then suggested setting up an orchestra ministry for young Catholics.
“By setting up a youth orchestra, we can create a more vibrant community for young people . . . to be engaged in meaningful apostolate ministry with the Risen Christ Church,” said Fr Sim.
The upcoming orchestra hopes to take in 46 string players, 10 woodwind players, 11 brass players and up to six percussion players, starting with the formation of the strings section.
Dr Leong, who will direct the orchestra once it is set up, said that “music is one of the best tools to teach discipline, selflessness and charity”.
In order “to have a positive experience” at rehearsals, players “will have to forgo play time and instead practise their music”, he said.
The music played by the orchestra is also expected to help young people become more familiar with Church liturgy.
The orchestra will play at Christmas, Easter and Corpus Christi as well as perform one charity concert a year.
The orchestra is taking in young people aged 12-18 from all churches in Singapore. Players should have a performance proficiency of a grade five ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) or equivalent. Orchestra members also need to have their own instruments.
Young children who have no musical background can participate in a training orchestra after the formation of the main orchestra is complete.
By Martin See