CCA Preview ’15: Raffles Chorale

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“‘Come away’, is the call, with the love in your heart as the only song. There is no such beauty as where you belong.” The Road Home, Stephen Paulus

Passionate about music-making, Raffles Chorale is a second home to a close-knit group of individuals who share a love for singing.

With an extensive repertoire spanning various genres including sacred hymns, folk tunes and contemporary pop songs, the dynamism and versatility of Chorale has kept audiences at the edge of their seats. The incorporation of different elements to our music – such as aleatory singing (or ‘chance music’), percussion instruments and even wine glasses – provides for a pleasant, refreshing take on traditional choral performances.

Under the esteemed musical direction of our resident conductor, Mr Toh Ban Sheng, Chorale has enjoyed a rich tradition of commendable achievement since the choir’s conception in 1982. In addition to having attained a Certificate of Distinction at the Singapore Youth Festival Central Judging in 2013, Chorale has achieved significant international recognition in numerous competitions held in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, Italy and Poland.

Post-competition at the Kozel Castle (Credits to Dominique Yap)
Post-competition at the Kozel Castle (Credits to Dominique Yap)

Most recently, in June 2014, Chorale participated in the Musica Sacra Festival at the Kozel Castle in the Czech Republic, where we achieved a Diploma (Gold Level) in both the Mixed Choirs and Popular Sacred Music categories, a Jury Prize, as well as the coveted Grand Prix.

Chorale practices are held every Wednesday (2.30pm-6.30pm) and Friday (3.30pm-8pm), but may increase in duration and frequency in the lead-up to performances. Sectionals may also be held outside of official rehearsal hours. Though some technical expertise may come in handy, it is not of paramount importance as solfege is used to learn new pieces – if you have little experience with that, do not fret as we will readily help you out! Rather, the key prerequisites are an open mind and willing heart.

That being said, Chorale is more than a music-making machine. Concert performances and competitions aside, we have exciting activities lined up throughout the year which promise to make your time here enriching and meaningful. The annual overnight Chorale Camp held in March, for example, will leave many with spirits lifted and energised for the busy year ahead. Because we believe in bringing the choir together, you can expect some good fun with picnic lunches, outings to the beach, frisbee games and even an annual Secret Santa gift exchange!

Picnic at Marina Barrage! (Credits to Nicolette Foo)
Picnic at Marina Barrage! (Credits to Nicolette Foo)

In the spirit of giving back, our yearly Christmas event, Vocal Delights, is an entirely student-organised concert – traditionally helmed by the Year 5 batch – that aims to raise funds for the less privileged while spreading some Yuletide cheer. In addition to featuring our resident a cappella groups, PUNCH and Fringe, this concert also evinces the vocal prowess of our numerous student interest a cappella groups.

Student interest a capella group The Acafellas at Vocal Delights 2014 (Credits to Hee Xin Wei)
Student interest a capella group The Acafellas at Vocal Delights 2014 (Credits to Hee Xin Wei)

“The most valuable things are forged through the toughest times, and the friendships I speak of are no different,” remarked I Vivek Kai-Wen, chairperson of the batch of 2014. While it may not always be smooth-sailing, we assure you that the personal growth experienced, friendships forged, as well as the joy of making music will make this journey a rewarding one.


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