A message from Jonathan Velasco

Thank you, Sir JoJo, for this lovely message. It has been an honour and a treat to have you here with us, and we can’t wait to see you again!

Dear SYCES and Jennifer,

It has been 24 hours since our concert last night. I didn’t even have time for sepanx (separation anxiety) because everything was a whirlwind after the concert ended. By the time I was able to catch my breath, I already found myself here in my next hotel in Manila. It feels so weird to be booked in a hotel in your home city hahaha!

And so it is only now that I am able to express my thanks to you all, for the wonderful music making that we all did. I leave you for now, with a smile on my face, full of artistic satisfaction in the instrument that is the SYCES. I hope you are happy with what we did, as I am.

Ate Jen, thank you for inviting me to conduct your baby. You have honed it into a fantastic group of like-minded individuals with a passion for excellence. Thank you for your hospitality and kindness. In you and Albert, shine the best example of true Singaporean hospitality. I am so glad to be counted among your friends.

And so, onward towards the Christmas season! Remember our songs, and its messages of hope, of meaning, of celebration. Luwalhati sa Diyos sa kaitaasan, at sa lupa’y kapayapaan sa mga taong kinalulugdan Nya!

PAGDIRIWANG – A choral atelier with Jonathan Velasco


Young Musicians’ Society presents
a choral atelier with Jonathan Velasco (Philippines)

Bringing together singers of different ages, professions and musical backgrounds, the atelier platform seeks to provide the singing public with the opportunity to explore choral music from around the world with our guest conductors.

This December, join Filipino choral conductor, Jonathan Velasco, in a celebration of the holiday season in our second atelier to date. Together with fellow choral enthusiasts, explore seasonal and Advent music in the week-long atelier (5 – 11 Dec), which culminates in a concert performance at the Esplanade Concert Hall.

Singers must be able to read music and have at least 3 years’ experience singing in a choir.  As the atelier can only accommodate a maximum of 48 singers in a balanced number of voice parts, you may be asked to audition.

Application closes 31 October 2013.

Download the brochure and application form here, or email us at atelier@yms.org.sg for more information.

Atelier Sessions

Thu         5 Dec 2013       2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Fri           6 Dec 2013       9:30 am – 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Sat          7 Dec 2013       9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Sun         8 Dec 2013       Evening dress rehearsal (Esplanade Concert Hall)
Mon        9 Dec 2013       2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Wed       11 Dec 2013      Atelier performance

Fee: $120 (inclusive of scores)

Atelier Performance (as a concert segment)
PAGDIRIWANG A celebration of the holiday season
With Jonathan Velasco, Jennifer Tham and the SYC Ensemble Singers

Date: 11 December 2013
Venue: Esplanade Concert Hall


Then perhaps you haven’t tried this.


1. Go to http://www.syc.org.sg.
2. Click on “make music!” at the bottom-right hand section of the page.
3. Follow the instructions. Watch. Listen. (Sing.) Create. (Laugh.) Be Inspired.


Click on “View other tracks” at the bottom-right hand corner of the page for more (s)In(g)spiration!

And while you’re at it, check out new photos in our gallery, read about past and upcoming performances, and find out what new pieces of music we have premiered recently. Or simply move the cursor around our members to enjoy their many and varied facial expressions.

Come and play!

– Your SYCES web elves – 

due north

after all the sticky fruity sweetness of the past months – flirting with the languid lush harmonies of southern-ish climes – it was time to sink our teeth into something “meatier”. the hunt was on. we scavenged for the old with their recognisable scent, the dense complexities that keep our bones warm as surely as that itchy woolen coat in -30 degrees C as we sit around a tiny hole in the ice waiting for fish to bite. (hej du, jennefelt! labas rytas, miskinis!)

we also searched high above for the new, something that would excite our tired palates. we found that in the pacific northwest, a fusion cuisine that nods at traditional ingredients and convention, but barely. textured and layered, this is three-dimensional food in a way different from that of the baltic quintet. more on that, in time to come.

for now, a fantastic read on the music of jennefelt:


– jen –

Thank You

A note from Corrado Margutti that warmed the cockles of our hearts.
Thank YOU, Corrado, for your music and friendship.

Dear friends of the SYC Ensemble Singers,

I like to write you these few lines only to tell you grazie, thank you. Now it’s 2am and I’m going to go to sleep and when you listen to these words (I know that you are going to do a rehearsal at 2pm) probably I’ll wake up because in Italy it will be the Aurora, 7am! It was a wonderful week spent in doing music with you. I’d like to be there with you now. I feel like telling you that the time spent with you in conducting Italian music of mine and not only was for me a so delicious time. A nice, good, expressive, intense and amusing choir has been the soundtrack of my week in Singapore. I’ve known you and your wonderful conductor (who has prepared a very nice atelier choir too!). And I have found the perfect organization by your president Albert and a great welcome by you and all the executive committee.

To conduct you is an honour, I’m thinking about you now while you are doing the rehearsal, and when I was conducting you I was thinking that if a composer listen to you, he would like to write music for you… So I can’t wait for your coming in Torino. Have a nice rehearsal and be sure that in Italy there is someone thinking of you.


Love at First Sight

Jen speaks in the Mostly Margutti concert programme:

We met seven years ago in Germany. A Piedmontese master craftsman, he re-ignited our hearts by turning the key in all the right places. Molto great and amazing! His eloquent sweet note-things rendered us giddy with anticipation; we were upside down, inside out and every which way but loose. Music, to our ears, as Margutti writes it: simply stupendous.

We made our dizzy way through The Incredible Lorca-Monteverdi Mashup (Missa Lorca), then we asked for something special, just for us. We received a couple of poems of Michelangelo Buonarroti, wrapped in two odd-shaped parcels of madrigalisms, D’ombre e d’amore (2008). The first was a prayer for the comfort of night; the second, an urgent admonishment to flee from Love. Volare oh oh! Fuggite oh oh! Uh-oh. Too late.

So we brought the Man here, to satisfy Love. We spread the word to share the joy, and created an atelier choir of all-comers, singing Mostly Margutti. (Duh.) Over four afternoons, the singers got to whet (and feed) their appetite for the musically sublime. We know they’ll be back for More.

We are also proudly Partly Pamintuan tonight. Like Corrado, John wears three hats, composer-conductor-singer. And his music likewise, simply astounding. He does a haunted setting of Lorca in De Profundis, a cry from the olive groves, mass-graves of the victims of the Spanish Civil War. This is sandwiched between two versions of the Lord’s Prayer – the prayer that teaches us how to Be – both of which feature his trademark: softly stratospheric sopranos. Heavenly.

Addicted to Love, we remain.

Margutti speaks Mandarin! (kidding…)

But he DOES speak (and write music in) French and Spanish. Read Corrado Margutti’s interview in today’s Zao Bao: