The ministry of Celebration Chorus began in the mind of a local professional musician who simply wanted to observe the anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach’s death by presenting a concert of his music in the year 2000.
Celebration Chorus then began as a worship event at Paya Lebar Methodist Church on the first Sunday of Advent, 26 November 2000, to celebrate the music of J.S. Bach on the 250th anniversary of his death. Performing Bach’s Magnificat, seventy choristers from over 30 churches came together for the first time and rehearsed for 16 weeks to prepare the Magnificat with orchestra and soloists. It was such a success, the choristers asked to continue, thus the Celebration Chorus was born.
The following three seasons were short-term, one-off seasons held in the fourth quarter, with worship presentations including a larger choral work, accompanied by orchestra, and with selected sacred anthems. Concerts were presented in the format of a worship service (see concerts) so as to communicate the spiritual message of sacred music and to touch the hearts of attendees with the message of God’s love.
In 2004 the Chorus began to present two annual seasons, March and November, to the delight of choristers seeking a weekly choral experience that challenged and advanced their singing skills. Presently, the Chorus maintains these two seasons which commence in January and September of each year.
Chorus beginnings were made possible through the financial sponsorship of Methodist School of Music, International Baptist Church, and Bedok Lutheran Church. The Chorus has sung at Esplanade Concert Hall (December 2007, 2003) Victoria Concert Hall, (2007, 2005, 2004) in addition to Paya Lebar Methodist, International Baptist, Kampong Kapor Methodist, St. George’s Church, and Calvary Baptist churches.
Chorus members hail from different churches and diverse backgrounds. They share a passion for singing, love for Father God and a love for each other. Many choristers are charter members while others are new to the family.
Since 2000, the Chorus has been led by its music director, Tom Anderson, professional conductor, vocalist, and music educator in the local community since 1999. Dr. Evelyn Lim, founding director and organ master of the Klais organ of Esplanade: Theatres on the Bay, faithfully serves as rehearsal accompanist and organist for all Chorus rehearsals and concerts.
The Chorus is managed by a Ministry Team who cheerfully serve the goals of this ministry with dedication and excellence.
Thanks be to God!