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 here!

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

Below are FAQ regarding the Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir. If you can’t find the answer to your question, please contact the Choral department at 6602 4215/4241 or email choral@sso.org.sg.

What can I expect my child to gain from being a SSCC member?
Every child who goes through the Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir programme will emerge a disciplined and confident person who possesses good vocal technique and musicianship, and enjoys classical music. He/She will be able to express himself or herself artistically, emotionally and socially in a disciplined and responsible manner.

Who conducts the Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir?
The SSCC is led by Choirmaster Mrs Wong Lai Foon and supported by a team of choral instructors.

What are the different Choir Programmes?
SSCC members will be enrolled into either of the 2 phases, depending on their proficiency:

  1. Training Phase
    • There are 3 Programmes within the Training Phase: Preparatory Choir 1, Preparatory Choir 2 and Training Choir.
    • The Training Phase seeks to develop and refine the children’s choral skillsets, ensuring that they have the necessary techniques and confidence before they progress to be part of the concert choir. Children are expected to complete the training phase in a maximum of 3 years.
  2. Performing Phase
    • Children are split into age groups within the Performing Phase: Concert Choir 1 (Ages 9 - 12) and Concert Choir 2 (Ages 13 and up)
    • The performing phase is for accomplished members who have also spent at least 6 months in the Preparatory Choir. Performing Choir members will undergo a more intensive programme to further develop their choral abilities. They will also have the opportunity to perform to the public and with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

When does the Choir Season begin and how long does it last?
The SSCC Training Programme commences in January every year. It will follow a Calendar Year Season (January – December). Auditions for entry into the SSCC will begin in September.

When and how often does the choir practice?
Choir practice is usually held on Saturdays, with occasional rehearsals held on weekday evenings.
Training Phase – 2-hour training sessions
Performing Phase – 3-hour rehearsal sessions

What type of music will my child be learning?
Children will undergo training for classical choral singing. Please note that this may include religious works from different religions (e.g., liturgical works).

What kind of performance opportunities are available?

  • Training Phase
    All Preparatory and Training Choir members will perform in an annual informal in-house presentation concert open to parents.
  • Performing Phase
    All performing choir members will have opportunities to perform with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, as well as in stand-alone recitals.

At the end of the season, will my child be automatically enrolled into the next class?

  • Preparatory Choir
    At the end of each season, the choir masters will evaluate each choir member on their singing and if the children are ready to progress to the next level of choir. Through the season, choir members and parents would also be given feedback periodically on their progress.
  • Training Choir
    There will be internal auditions held every 6 months for the Training Choir members to determine the children’s progress and suitability to progress into the Concert Choir.

What if my son’s voice is changing/ breaking? Will he still be able to sing with the Children’s Choir?
The SSCC has recently started a Boys’ Ensemble which offers boys, who have experienced or are experiencing a voice change, the opportunity to undergo specialised training. The Boys’ Ensemble are a part of the Concert Choir, and will spend one additional hour per week to develop their changing voices.

How do I enrol my child into the SSCC?
All children looking to enrol into the SSCC will be required to undergo an audition to determine their musicianship abilities. Audition application forms can be found in the SSCC Events page from July of every year.

When are auditions and where are they held?
Auditions are held annually in late September. Registration opens in July, with limited vacancies available. Audition time slots will be provided for successful applicants nearer to the audition date.

What will happen during the auditions?
Auditionees will be required to sing a short song (preferably classical, choral, or from a musical) of any language not exceeding 4 minutes. There will also be a short aural test to determine their musicianship abilities. Though not compulsory, it would be advantageous that your child is able to read music. Auditionees aged 13 and above will be expected to have a minimum of ABRSM Grade 3 theory. Auditionees may bring an accompanist (though not encouraged), or they may sing a cappella. The use of pre-recorded accompaniments will not be allowed.

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

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