October 24, 2021
Photos by: Bryan van der Beek | Words by: Stacey Rodrigues
(Photo above) Composer-conductor Mr. Darius Lim leads the Voices of Singapore Children’s Choir in a warm-up before filming and recording a choral performance at the Temasek Shophouse on September 27, 2021. The choral performance is in support of World Mental Health Day and aims to bring awareness to the cause and inspire hope.
Every October, the world celebrates World Mental Health Day (WMHD). With continued pandemic-related restrictions and challenges, everyone is facing some form of mental stress.
When we struggle to see the brighter side of life, we need “cheerleaders” like the Singapore Children’s Choir of Voices of Singapore (VOS), to bring a little warmth, encouragement, and comfort to our homes.
In support of WMHD which took place on October 10, the Singapore Children’s Choir performed Songs from Our Hearts at the atrium of social impact hub, Temasek Shophouse.
(Above) Pianist Ms. Joyce Lim accompanies the Voices of Singapore’s Children’s Choir as they film and record “May it Be” at the Temasek Shophouse on September 27, 2021.
“We wanted [songs] that went with chasing dreams and reliving memories from the past,” says Mr. Darius Lim, founder and artistic director of Voices of Singapore, who conducted the performance.
The choir’s first song “Night of Rainbows” was written by Mr. Lim. “It was selected because it had a really ethereal effect of chasing the impossible. As you know rainbows don’t happen at night, so this song was originally written for children to dream and imagine.”
(Above) Composer-conductor Mr. Darius Lim is the founder and artistic director of Voices of Singapore, formed in 2019.
The performance included two others songs, a “Youth Medley” of two local Chinese songs, commissioned by the National Heritage Board for the 40th Speak Mandarin campaign in 2019. The medley speaks of youthful memories. The finale was a candlelit performance of “May it Be” from The Lord of the Rings movies. “It creates a visual, dreamy effect. The text of one particular sentence, ‘believe and you will find your way,’ was actually the pillar of why we selected this song,” says Mr. Lim.
“I believe very strongly that singing is actually a platform for the advocacy of promoting good mental health. I’ve seen how people who have completely lost hope in life can find meaning in social interaction through music.”
Mr. Darius Lim, founder and artistic director of Voices of Singapore
The performance was also a personal one for the acclaimed composer-conductor. “I have had many relatives and friends struggle with mental health and stress — and even myself at some point of time in my life,” he says. “I believe very strongly that singing is actually a platform for the advocacy of promoting good mental health. I’ve seen how people who have completely lost hope in life can find meaning in social interaction through music.”
(Above) A member of the VOS Singapore Children’s Choir sings during the filming of “May it Be” at Temasek Shophouse on September 27, 2021.
Songs from Our Hearts is a collaboration between Temasek Shophouse and Voices of Singapore.
“Mental health is one of the most prominent issues today, especially with the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that we continue to raise awareness on the topic. We hope that through music, this initiative can cheer the community on and provide some comfort and hope in challenging times,” said Ms. Yvonne Tay, director of Temasek Shophouse.