An evening of choral music
PENANG (Herald Malaysia): August 8 was a date to remember when the doors of the old cathedral, of the Assumption opened its doors to the Penang Philharmonic Chorus as part of a series of fundraising events to save the Grande Dame of the Assumption Church, the pipe organ.
The second oldest church in Malaysia, the Assumption Church boasts of the only serviceable pipe organ but it is now in dire need of proper repairs and maintenance. To this end, the City Parish has made tremendous strides in raising funds for the repairs. It is the vision of the Parish Priest, Fr Dominic Santhiyagu, to ensure that this Grande Dame is alive and playing heavenly strains at its centennial anniversary in two years’ time.
Entrance for the Choral Music Concerto was by donation of a minimum of RM20 per adult. 200 supporters came that evening, to listen to the classical choir of the Assumption Church under the able conductor, Martin Rutherford and the organist, Leonard Gurunathan.
Fr Dominic Santhiyagu, the parish priest, welcomed everyone who came. He said that it is his vision that the pipe organ be restored to its former grandeur so that the Catholic community in Georgetown and on the island, can look forward to many more years of continued usage of this fine music instrument which has produced such heavenly strains through its 98 years.
During the concerto, Martin Rutherford, took time to explain the different modes of singing that the chorus used, one of which included that used by Italian composers who required their choirs to hum and sing.
Martin Rutherford also chose hymns that the audience could sing and thus the concerto became a participative event. –By Debbie C Mitchell
(This appeared in the Herald, 2 Sept. 2012)
To watch the video of the performance (excerpt only), please click here.