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Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Sandakan: “The One Voice! One Praise to God” is the ultimate highlight of the St Mary’s Cathedral Parish Choir Festival 2010 held on Sunday, 15th August. The evening event, coincided with the Parish Feast Day, attended by more than 200 parishioners and guests from Heilbron, Germany. 

John Baptist, the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) Chairman, in his welcoming address commended the organizing committee, headed by Michael Lai for a job well done. The event was truly joyful and meaningful, held in conjunction with the Parish Feast day celebration. The event marked the very first choir festival in the parish since the elevation of St Mary’s Church to the status as a Cathedral.

He said, ‘Merely by taking part in the festival, you are already winners in the vineyard of the Lord.’

He urged all choir groups to perform in the spirit of celebrating rather than competing with each other. He also hoped that all the composed song will find its ways to the hymnal book. 

Rev Fr. Thomas Makajil, the rector of St Mary's Cathedral graced the official launching of the 1st St Mary’s Cathedral Parish choir festival, followed by an Opening Prayer. 

The festival, held in the Parish Hall, started at 7.30pm. It began with the non-composed category song by 3 choir groups, followed by the composition category on the theme ‘Serve one another with God’s Love’ with 5 groups participating. During the interval, the audience was entertained by guest singers (Jennifer and Rueben) from the archdiocese of KK.

John and Virginia Koh
In appreciation to a wonderful couple, John and Virginia Koh for being instrumental in bringing progress and development to the choir in St Mary’s Cathedral Parish, they were presented with gifts and certificates. May their selfless contribution in the choir,  set an example to the younger generation.
The winner for the non composition song category went to the Taman Rimba Youth Choir (St Mark’s Church) and the best choir group performance was awarded to Fancy Mixing of Nurses (St. Joseph Church). The overall champion for the event this year went to the Star of Yahweh Covenant Community (SYCC) which will represent the Cathedral Parish to the 3rd Diocesan Anniversary Celebration which will be held in Lahad Datu on the 15th October.

Taman Rimba Youth Choir (St Mark’s Church)
Fancy Mixing of Nurses (St. Joseph's Church)
Star of Yahweh Covenant Community (SYCC)
The winning group consists 15 members, the oldest being 60 years and the youngest 13 years.  Their choir leader, Eva Surono shared that it took them 2 weeks to compose the song and more than 10 times, practicing to blend their vocal into harmony. The Fancy mixing of Nurses, being the second best choir, will also be given the privilege to  participate in the presentations during the Diocesan Anniversary Celebration in Lahad Datu.

The Sandakan Choir Festival ended with a note from Fr Thomas that the event might stir the interest of parishioners, especially the youth, to contribute their musical gifts and talents to the glory of God. The two main aspects of music  in our Catholic worship are to help make the liturgy more truly beautiful and truly sacred for the most holy purpose.

The event concluded with a closing prayer by the rector at exactly 10.30 pm.

Dalius LL
Sandakan Parish Soccom.

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