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Children's choir from Singapore receives standing ovation in New York for rendition of Home

Children's choir from Singapore receives standing ovation in New York for rendition of Home
PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Voices of Singapore

An uplifting performance of local favourite National Day Parade (NDP) song Home at New York's Carnegie Hall won the hearts of the crowd earlier this week. 

The song, a regular feature at almost every NDP since 1998, was performed by The Voices of Singapore (VOS) Children’s Choir on June 10. 

Not only was it their first time performing internationally, the 71-strong choir members made history as the first Singaporean children's choir to perform at the renowned venue.

Earning a standing ovation and thunderous applause for their performance, VOS shared their proud moment in a Facebook post on June 12 and wrote: "Thank you New York! What a surreal night to be able to share both folk songs from Singapore and choral classics to an international audience at Carnegie Hall."

Dr Darius Lim, the Artistic Director and Composer-Conductor of VOS, shared in an interview with The Straits Times that VOS was invited by National Concerts, one of the United States' biggest choral organisations, to perform at Carnegie Hall without having to audition for the gig.

“This is the first invite we know of, ever, in Singapore for a children’s choir. The moment we got a call to do this, we immediately accepted,” said Lim.

The choir members, aged between eight and 18, performed 15 songs that even included Singaporean folk tunes such as Dayung Sampan, Singapura and Munnaeru Vaalibaa,

Dr Lim said: “We are going out of our comfort zone to sing in all the main languages in Singapore. We really want to show the country’s heritage by presenting the full range of local works, be it past or present.” 

In introducing Home, the last song of their performance, the conductor said:" We leave you with one last song, one song that is very close and dear to our hearts of Singaporeans."

An audience member, Grammy winner Jeffery Redding, said: "Darius Lim and the Voices of Singapore Children's Choir gave an awe inspiring, passionate, life changing performance. I was on the edge of my seat the entire performance… Exhilarating in every way! I am a true fan!"

Apart from their Carnegie hall gig, VOS also had a non-ticketed solo-concert held at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Tuesday which was also live-streamed on YouTube.

ALSO READ: 'Hearing the song Home makes me want to cry': Singaporean who got married and gave birth in Germany amid Covid-19

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