Singapore Symphony Children's Choir

Formed in 2006, the Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir (SSCC) has established itself as the leading children’s choir in Singapore. 

Formed in 2006, the Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir has established itself as the leading children’s choir in Singapore. With over 200 members aged 9 to 18, the choir seeks to enrich young singers through holistic choral training that nurtures artistic growth and personal development.

The Children’s Choir tours internationally, and has performed great choral masterpieces with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, with distinguished conductors such as Lim Yau, Claus Peter Flor, Sofi Jeannin, François Xavier Roth and Julie Desbordes. It has performed at the Philharmonie de Paris in a collaborative performance of Berlioz’s Te Deum with the Maîtrise de Radio France, as well as at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in Kuala Lumpur, partnering the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra in concert. The choir has commissioned and performed Singaporean works by Chen Zhangyi, Lee Chin Sin, and Cultural Medallion winner Kelly Tang.

In Singapore, the choir has an active performing calendar, having performed at the Istana for the prestigious Cultural Medallion & Young Artist Award and shared the stage with critically acclaimed The King’s Singers.

The choir released their first recording, And I'll Sing Once More, to mark its 10th anniversary in 2016.

The Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir is proud to have Mr Christopher Ho and Mrs Rosy Ho as its Principal Champion.

 

Simply Outstanding - The Straits Times

Read the SSCC member’s Handbook

Choirmaster

Wong Lai Foon

As a founder-conductor of the Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir (SSCC), Wong Lai Foon has dedicated the past twelve years towards building up the ensemble to become the leading children’s choir in the nation. Under her direction, the SSCC has garnered much praise for its impressive choral tone, and its musically precise and polished performances, earning it the commendation of “one of the best children’s choirs in Asia” in a recent review.

In her capacity as Choirmaster, Wong has overseen the expansion of the SSCC, which now comprises a Concert Choir, Training Choir, three preparatory choirs, a Boys’ Ensemble and a Youth Choir. She has also led the Concert Choir on two tours, performing at the Philharmonie de Paris in 2015 in collaboration with the Maîtrise de Radio France, and at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, Kuala Lumpur, during a joint concert tour with the Singapore National Youth Orchestra. In commemoration of the SSCC’s 10th Anniversary in 2016, Wong directed the choir in a series of exciting performances and projects, one of which was the recording of SSCC’s first CD, And I’ll Sing Once More. In her effort to increase the body of treble choral works by local composers, Wong has made it a point to commission a new work each year, and has thus far commissioned works by Chen Zhangyi, Kelly Tang and Lee Chin Sin.

In addition to their annual appearances at the SSO Christmas concerts, Wong prepares the SSCC for their regular collaborations with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in symphonic and operatic works. Past performances have included Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust and the Te Deum, Britten’s War Requiem, Bizet’s Carmen, and most recently, La Bohème by Puccini.

Through her work with the SSCC, Wong aspires to inspire a generation of young choral singers to embrace the choral art and strive for musical and artistic excellence. In demand as a conductor with choirs across various segments of the community, Wong is the Resident Conductor of the Methodist Festival Choir, and Assistant Conductor of The Philharmonic Chamber Choir. She has also previously prepared works for the Singapore Symphony Chorus and Singapore Lyric Opera.

She received her Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting from Westminster Choir College, under the tutelage of Joseph Flummerfelt.

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Frequently Asked Questions

For more details, please contact the Choral department at 6602 4215/4241 or email choral@sso.org.sg.

Who will my child be learning from?
The SSCC is led by Choirmaster Mrs Wong Lai Foon, and is supported by a team of teaching staff dedicated to nurturing a fine generation of classical choristers.

What will my child be learning?
Children will undergo training for classical choral singing, and go through ear training and musicianship classes. These classes aim to aid in the development of each member's ability to sight-read, gain confidence as a performer, and communicate effectively through singing as a medium of expression – enabling them to be the best they can be.

How can my child benefit from being a member of the SSCC?
The Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir, its Choirmaster and teaching staff are committed to nurturing young talents and helping each child achieve their musical potential. The SSCC offers training and performance opportunities to children between the ages of 9 and 16 to develop vocal technique, music literacy and musicianship.
Through its programmes, the SSCC hopes to cultivate in its members a passion for the choral art, at the same nurture abilities to express oneself artistically, emotionally and socially – in a disciplined and responsible manner.

What are the different choirs under the SSCC?
SSCC members will be enrolled into either of the 2 phases depending on their musical proficiency. Being a progressive training programme, each phase is centred on the development of good vocal technique, sight-singing skills, and musicianship.

  1. Training Wing
    • There are 3 choirs within the Training Wing: Preparatory Choir 1 (PC1), Preparatory Choir 2 (PC2) and Training Choir (TC).
    • The Training Wing seeks to develop and refine the children’s choral skillsets, ensuring that they have the necessary techniques and confidence before they progress to the next phase.
  2. Performance Wing
    • Comprises the Concert Choir (CC) and Youth Choir (YC)
    • Members of the Concert Choir will undergo a more intensive programme to further develop their choral abilities, and serves as the main performing ensemble of the SSCC.
    • The Youth Choir is an extension of the SSCC and a bridge to the Singapore Symphony Chorus (SSC). It provides the opportunity for mature members of the SSCC to continue their development in classical choral singing.
  3. Boys’ Ensemble
    • A specialised vocal development programme catered to boys, young men with transitioning voices. The ensemble comprises of new choristers and members who have been with the SSCC for some time. Each voice changes differently and we train our young men to use their new vocal instruments, in a healthy and safe manner.

What kind of music does the SSCC sing?
In addition to SSCC’s main repertoire of symphonic choral master works, the choir is also exposed in different genres of music – opera, jazz; songs in languages from around the world. The SSCC regularly includes in its performances, songs and commissions by local composers as well.

Can my son sing with the SSCC if his voice is changing or breaking?
Yes, he can! Transitioning voices are best suited for our Boys’ Ensemble programme. Members of the Boys’ Ensemble will spend an hour and a half per week with a dedicated vocal trainer to develop their changing voices; appropriate techniques are taught to promote healthy and safe singing during the transition.

What performance opportunities will my child have?
Members of the Training Wing will get the opportunity to perform biannually, first in a standalone SSCC Presentation Concert, followed by a Presentation Concert with the Singapore National Youth Sinfonia, at the end of the second semester in the Victoria Concert Hall.
Upon progression into ensembles in the Performance Wing, members will not only have the opportunity to perform in stand-alone recitals, but also with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, alongside the Singapore Symphony Chorus and Youth Choir. The Concert Choir most recently performed with renowned British a cappella vocal ensemble The King’s Singers, and in the SSO’s concert opera, La Bohéme.

What is the required level of commitment?
The SSCC’s training programme follows a Calendar Year Season (January – December). Semester 1 commences in January and ends in May, and, Semester 2 commences in July and ends in November; a break follows the end of each half year term.
There is an expectation that members will attend weekly choir rehearsals throughout the term. In the lead up to concerts, choir members will be expected to attend additional rehearsals. Dates of rehearsals are available annually and any issues which may prevent your child from attending a rehearsal should be raised as soon as possible. All performances are compulsory.

When and where are choir rehearsals held?
SSCC rehearsals are usually held at the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, in either the Dance or Music Studios, on Saturdays, at varying class intervals* between 10am – 6pm. Additional rehearsals may also be held on weekday evenings closer to performance dates.
Do note that due to the nature of the rehearsal schedule, there will be no makeup lessons for classes missed.

*You may download the SSCC Handbook for reference on specific class times.

Who can join the SSCC?
Members of the SSCC are typically between the ages of 9 and 16. We welcome all children with and without prior experience in singing in a choir and/or music background, though advantageous to have. Members aged 13 and above will be expected to have a minimum of ABRSM Grade 3 Music Theory literacy.

How do I enrol my child into the SSCC?
All children interested in joining the SSCC will have to undergo an audition with the Choirmaster and choral instructors to determine their suitability for the programme.

When and where are auditions held?
Auditions are held once a year in late September. Registration opens in July, with limited vacancies available. Successful applicants will be allocated audition timeslots and informed of the audition venue nearer to the event date.

What happens during an audition?
Apart from a short aural test, auditionees will be required to sing a short song of any language, preferably a classical or choral piece, not exceeding four minutes. Auditionees may sing a capella, or bring an accompanist (though not encouraged). In line with the SSCC’s classical choral training, members will be trained to sing a capella; the use of pre-recorded accompaniments will thus not be allowed.

Can my child ‘try-out’ with the SSCC before he/she auditions?
Definitely! All prospective SSCC members are welcome to join us in our one-day experiential programme, the SSCC Experience. A yearly affair, the SSCC Experience is a day event for budding young singers who’d like to see what a day in training is like for an SSCC member. The programme will be filled with fun and games, most of all, participants will even get a chance to perform alongside their SSCC friends onstage in the Victoria Concert Hall.
Registrations for the SSCC Experience start in July each year, click here to find out more.

Which choir will my child join upon acceptance?
Depending on your child’s vocal and musicianship proficiencies, the class that he/she will join will be determined by the Choirmaster and choral teaching staff, with recommendations from the audition review. The multiple classes of varying skill levels ensure that there is a suitable class for children of different skill levels.

Is there a cost involved in participating in the SSCC?
Yes, there is an annual term fee that can be paid bi-annually. Fee assistance is available if there is a demonstrated financial need. Please email choral@sso.org.sg for more details.

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