Methodist School of Music celebrates 15 years of God’s blessings
MSM continues to educate church musicians
despite fresh challenges
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain.” – Psalm 127:1.
FIFTEEN YEARS AGO, the founders of Methodist School of Music (MSM) had a vision – to reach out to educate, inspire and encourage people in the music ministry to serve with their hearts, minds and abilities, for the glory of God. And it was with this lofty vision and humble facilities at Mount Sophia that the school began its journey in January 1997.
On April 28, 2012, MSM commemorated its 15th Anniversary with a celebration dinner at Raffles Town Club. The anniversary theme was “Pass it On”. Among the special guests were Bishop Dr Robert Solomon and Mrs Malar Solomon and many faithful supporters, a number of whom were among the founding leadership team which included the former Principal, Ms Mary Gan.
In a message in the souvenir programme, Bishop Dr Solomon said the theme “Pass it On” refers to the importance of passing God’s blessings to others and to new generations.
“We pass on our faith and our heritage, our responsibilities and our mission. One of the precious treasures passed on by the people of God from generation to generation was the Book of Psalms – the Hymnal of Israel. This was the Book of Liturgy for Israel and was included in Scripture, which was also passed on to new generations.”
The Bishop said that in the area of music, the Christian tradition has rich treasures of inspiring and faith-building poetry and music that have been accumulated over the centuries.
“It is important that just as the ancient Israelites were instructed to inspect their towers and ramparts, we are to examine our hymns and music so that we can pass on the treasures to those who follow us,” he added.
Mr Tay Kay Han was the Master of Ceremony for the evening. The MSM (handbell) Ringers led by Ms Ng Chet Wei heralded the evening with cheerful ringing, followed by a Thai Percussion Ensemble headed by the Acting Director of Worship and Liturgical Studies, Ms Judith Laoyan-Mosomos.
After the welcome by Mrs Catherine Lam, a member of the Management Committee, the ballet department presented four elegant, young ladies in a flowing rendition of “Four Moons”. The following musical portions showcased items by the teaching associates, including a violin/viola duet by Ms Judy Tay and Ms Lydia Wong, and solo items by the new teachers – Mr Zhang Tong (cello), Mr Mark Chan (flute) and Ms Joanna Paul (soprano), who were steadfastly accompanied by Ms Chee Sook Wan.
Songs of worship were led by Mr Mervin John, who is seconded by Grace Methodist Church to MSM to help kick-start a contemporary music programme for the Methodist schools.
Mr Chow Kok Fong, Chairman of the MSM Management Committee, highlighted the various programmes of the school and described the daunting challenges that have been undermining the school’s efforts, chief of which is the ongoing MRT works within the vicinity. Despite these temporary setbacks, MSM is thankful for the generous support from churches and individuals, which have kept the school going with new programmes and activities.
Long-standing faculty and staff who have served MSM for five, 10 and 15 years, were given awards. The top distinction scorers from the British-based examination boards for music performance, music theory and dance were awarded trophies in recognition of their achievements.
Bishop Dr Solomon then led the staff and Management Committee in a prayer of dedication. The evening closed with the singing of the Anniversary Song, “Reaching for Excellence” by Kurt Kaiser and Bryan Jeffrey Leech. Based on Philippians 3:14, the final verse echoed in our minds and hearts, as we left the ballroom:
“Give to the Lord your best, the best that you can do
As you honour Him, He will surely honour You
So learn to run the race until the race is done
Reaching for excellence until the prize is won
Reaching for excellence until the prize is won.”
We praise God for His bountiful blessings on MSM for 15 years.
Dr Evelyn Lim is the Acting Principal/Vice-Principal (Musical Arts), Organist and Lecturer at Methodist School of Music.