Monday, September 26, 2011

Superb Magnificat Choir from Medan, Indonesia

Snapshot of Fr Redemptus Benedictus Simamora, OFM, CapMagnificat Choir from Medan in Indonesia, comprising of a group of very young, talented and dynamic students, led by its founder, Fr Redemptus Benedictus Simamora, was in Kuala Lumpur recently to perform a musical concert at the Church of the Divine Mercy in Shah Alam on August 5 & 6 and at the Holy Family Church in Kajang on Sunday, August 7.

The event was jointly organized by the Parishes of St Thomas More, Subang and St Francis of Assisi, Cheras in aid of their respective church building fund.

We had the wonderful opportunity to watch the 80-strong choir (with the youngest, a mere 13 year-old) giving a superb performance at Holy Family Church that was almost filled to capacity.
Our singing Parish Priest from Church of SFA, Fr. Valentine Gompok, sportingly started off the concert with a rendition of 2 songs.

Magnificat Choir from Medan, IndonesiaMagnificat Choir from Medan, Indonesia

Among the songs presented by the Choir in Latin, English and Bahasa Malaysia were some gospel songs, folk songs from their motherland, a few modern songs, and including some classical songs from world composers like Handel, Antonio Vivaldi and Tom Fettke, to name a few.
One of their members, Maria Pasaribu (as shown in the photomontage below - the pretty singer in the bottom right picture) who won a talent search contest in one of the TV stations in Indonesia, proudly presented a few solo songs with her melodious and soprano tones.

Magnificat Choir from Medan, Indonesia

Besides that, they performed a few traditional dances, a couple of which were breathtaking indeed.

Magnificat Choir from Medan, Indonesia, performing some traditional dancesMagnificat Choir from Medan, Indonesia, performing some traditional dances

To round off the night, they sang 'Album Messiah' by Handel and Abba's Mama Mia, and received a standing ovation from the audience.

Magnificat Choir from Medan, Indonesia

Though it is Magnificat Choir's first performance outside of Indonesia, to gain experience and exposure, its members under the leadership of Fr. Redemptus, performed remarkably well with grace, passion, dedication and professionalism and did their country proud!

It was indeed a night to remember!!

Kudos to the Magnificat Choir's superb performance! May they continue to glorify God with their dedicated performances and may blessings upon blessings rain upon them!

About the Magnificat Choir
Magnificat Choir is a Catholic organization under the supervision of the Order of Friars Minor, Capuchin in the Archdiocese of Medan. It was founded in 1998 by Fr. Redemptus Simamra, who is also the group's leader. Magnificat Choir is a group of very young, talented and dynamic students who are committed to deliver beautiful renditions of classical and folk songs. The group consists mainly of Batak people who are known to love singing and gifted with musical talents.

Fr. Redemptus chose the name Magnificat when he felt a strong vocation from Mother Mary. Subsequently, a beautiful song entitled Magnificat anima mea Dominium ('My soul magnifies the Lord') was composed and became the Choir's motto and inspiration for the young talented group to work diligently and continuously like the spirit of Mother Mary, who was full of perseverance and faith in answering God's call.

About the Founder
Snapshot of Fr Redemptus Benedictus Simamora, OFM, CapFather Redemptus Benedictus Simamora, OFM, Cap was born on 1st March 1953 in Bakkara Simangulampe, a village near Lake Toba, North Sumatra. After his ordination as a priest in the Order of Friars Minor, Capuchin, he served Christus Sacerdos Seminary in Pematang Siantar.

The Batak people are known for producing famous musicians because they are gifted by God with musical talents.
The Order of Friars Minor, Capuchin recognized Fr. Redemptus' potential to improve the liturgy in the Archdiocese of Medan.

He is very talented in the art of music and was the first priest from the Archdiocese of Medan to be sent to Rome from 1987 to 1991 to study Sacred Music.

His other achievements are:
  • 1988: joined a choir tour to Spain and France
  • 1989 to 1990: conducted a comparative study in Vienna, Austria and London
  • 2006-2008: taught in Lembaga Musik Murni, Medan
  • 2009: attended workshop on musical art in Rome
  • 2009: founded Magnificat Music Course, handling courses on vocal, piano, organ, guitar and violin
  • 2011: Programme Director of Radio Maria Indonesia.
    Done broadcastings in Dutch and Italian radios.

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