And He Shall Reign: An Evening of Worship by the Methodist Festival Choir

To ring in the Advent season and as a thanksgiving of their 10th anniversary, the Methodist Festival Choir (MFC) presented an evening of worship on 6 December 2023, exploring the story of Creation, Fall and Restoration.

Accompanied by the Methodist Festival Orchestra, the worship service was filled with beautiful music, including familiar favourites by Handel and Rutter and original music by local musicians Kathryn Cheng, Jerome Yang and Anna Koh. The evening of music was also enhanced by moving images on the big screen and thoughtful narration.

For many, this was an incredibly emotional experience, and there were tears as each piece of music touched their hearts differently. The reflections from Pastor Raymond Fong also spoke to many people, especially those who stepped into a church for the first time. Indeed, aside from being a thanksgiving worship service to a Christian audience, this was also an opportunity for Christians to bring their pre-believing friends and family to share in the joy of this concert.

11-year-old Reyna Ngadiman was invited by her teacher and shared that it was her first time going to church to watch a concert and hear the reflections: “I was very impressed with the choir and the orchestra. I enjoyed singing the songs and was encouraged by the words of the songs.”

An 87-year-old Indonesian visitor who only arrived in Singapore three days before the concert, Mrs M, shared that she was invited by her family: “I felt very blessed and much joy after hearing God’s Word. The singers and musicians are so talented and so professional.”

The Methodist Festival Choir (MFC), under the auspices of the Methodist School of Music (MSM), was formed in mid-2013 to provide a platform for fellow Methodists and those from other denominations to sing together and support one another in the music ministry. The choir’s repertoire spans from classical to contemporary works. The choristers comprise men and women aged 34–86 years old from 27 Methodist churches and two non-Methodist churches sing at major Methodist events, including Aldersgate, Lent and Advent services. They also reach out to the community by performing at least one public concert annually.

Mrs Judith Laoyan-Mosomos is the Director of Worship and Church Music at the Methodist School of Music andserves as the Artistic Director of the MFC. She sees her role as an opportunity to educate the choir and congregation about the role of music in worship, highlighting the various ways it serves as an expression of worship: “The liturgies are designed to provide opportunities for the choir and congregation to immerse themselves in the underlying theologies of the Church calendar.”

The Methodist Festival Orchestra (MFO) was established in 2015 for Christian musicians to minister to both the musicians that perform in it as well as the congregation. The orchestra consists of professional and amateur musicians who are like-minded in using their talents for the glory of God. The musicians come from many churches in Singapore (Methodist and non-Methodist) and include pre-believers who otherwise would not be motivated to step into a church or attend a church service.

Currently led by Ms Samantha Chong, a professional trombonist, and conductor of the MFO, Samantha also sings in the MFC: “The MFO serves in major MCS (Methodist Church in Singapore) and MSM events. God has given me this gift, and I want to share it and build us up as God’s musicians to play and glorify Him. The orchestra welcomes all musicians, Christians and pre-believers.”

“All that is required is a heart to serve,” she added.

Indeed, the heart of the event was to gather together to worship Jesus as one. Our God truly reigns. As the Psalmist proclaims in Psalm 150:6: “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord”.

About the Methodist Festival Choir and Methodist Festival Orchestra

Love to sing in a choir or play in an orchestra? Music brings joy, stirs up creativity and inspiration, and it may also lower stress levels! If you want to join as a chorister or musician, we want to hear from you. Please get in touch with us at worship@msmusic.edu.sg. Kindly indicate voice/strings/wind/brass/percussion.

Photos by Ho Tzin Yih

Read also: An Evening of Musical Encounter with CEM

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