Singapore AGO

Singapore Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

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To Boldly Go...

Dr Evelyn Lim, Dean
1 March 2007

On March 17th and 24th four of our Chapter’s young sparks will be in San Diego and Orange County (California) respectively to participate in the American Guild of Organists (AGO)/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists. The purpose of this competition is to encourage organists below age 23 to pursue excellence, to gain performance experience and to receive recognition for their achievements. These competitions begin at the Chapter level and conclude at the nine Regional Conventions of the AGO. The winner of each Regional Competition will be invited to perform at the 2008 National Convention in Minneapolis, USA.

This is probably the first time that organists from Singapore are participating in such a competition. Christina Suresh (age 16+), Victor Li (19), Melissa Goh (20) are organ students at the Methodist School of Music, while Angela Lim (19) is a student at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. All are members of the Singapore Chapter of the AGO and are active organists in their respective church communities.

The Chapter's young organists head to the American Guild of Organists (AGO)/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists

Here are their thoughts:

Christina Suresh: “I feel really excited about this competition. To be able to play on organs in a foreign country and hear how the people there play these organs is really thrilling and also a totally new experience for me. Although I am a little nervous about the 'competition' part, I feel that this competition will give me the opportunity to learn from the other competitors so that I may be able to improve my music-making.”

Melissa Goh: “As the competition date draws nearer, amidst all the heart-fluttering anxiety and panic-stricken practice sessions, I am actually extremely excited. I must admit: it is entirely beyond my imagination that my musical endeavours would carry me this far. It is barely a few weeks to the competition, and everything about it, including the preparations, still feels surreal. For now, I just hope to be able to play well, to enjoy the journey, and to wish for the best.”

Angela Lim: “With just a few weeks left to the competition, my level of anxiety and excitement has definitely increased. Taking part in a competition, not to mention an overseas one, seemed intimidating to me initially. However, having come thus far, this period of intense preparation has given me much valuable insight. Given this opportunity, I wish to be able to play my best and most importantly, to enjoy this process of music making. I am truly looking forward to exploring new realms and experiences during this trip.”

Victor Li: “I'm excited! It's going to be a great experience. To move out of my comfort zone and play on hitherto untried organs. To meet peers from a different culture and country, who face challenges and obstacles so very much different, and yet so very much the same. Of anticipation, exhilaration and anxiety; or rest, bonding, and time away from the drudgery of work. I'm excited!”