5(+1) Reasons Why SYCES is My Home. Truly.

Time sure flies by in a blink of an eye: It has been 7 years since I first joined SYCES. Still remember very clearly my date of entry: April Fool’s Day, 2007. “What has kept me so long within the choir?” – A question very often asked by people close to me. Well, let me reiterate the reasons again, but with a slightly different twist. I dedicate this Buzzworthy-esque blogpost to my fellow SYCES friends and also to all those in the choral fraternity. I am sure at least 1 of them will resonate with you guys. (:

1. I get to SING lots of awesome songs.


Fire songs? Count me in!

2. It brings me PLACES. Like, both locally and overseas.


Solfege in Arezzo, Italy


S Y C on the cobbled stone streets of Torino, Italy

3. I get to MEET and SING together with people from other countries.


It’s a Gaia, ACS & SYCES parteh! *\o/*

4. We are serious about our FOOD. Like, seriously.


Our usual after-concert pig-out at Lau Pa Sat. SATAY!! *drools*


How about a change of environment at Glutton’s Bay? STILL GOOD!

5. We love our WE-FIES! (or at least there are people willing to humour me)


Those were the days when selfie pods were unheard of, and actual selfies took a certain level of skill. xD

Bonus Point:

Did I mention that off-stage, we are just a crazy and fun-loving bunch of people at heart?


– songern –

The Hills Are Alive

I’m currently in Troyes of France, which is about a 3-hour ride from Paris. Just in three weekends, and I’ve lost count of the number of churches I’ve been to. Every time I enter one church, I am captivated by the beauty of the interior and overwhelmed with waves of urge to sing. Some churches play spirituals in the background really softly, and I am reminded of the times I sang in a church. Even though the last time I sang in a church was 7 years ago in Prague, yes I still cannot forget the sensation.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to practice. First it was the exams and now it’s the summer exchange programme. My idea of choral music was always very related to SYC, and my long absence made me feel like I was physically very out of touch with choir music. Sure, I hum and play choral music in my head all the time but ultimately I need to sing with others. NEED.

The school over here in Troyes brings us out every weekend, and after the recent weekend trip, I’ve come to realise that choral music can be anywhere. We went to somewhere near Lake Geneva, across the banks of Switzerland. So yes, with the Swiss Alps behind me, I had to do a Sound of Music meme shot. I just had to.


(PS, there is some form of similarity here. There just is.)

I was told that this town that we stayed in was the birthplace of Evian water, yes that overpriced bottled water was still overpriced over there. And as we explored the small town, in one of the churches, there was a choir singing! Of course I was the only one excited about it. I just whipped out my camera and used whatever remaining memory I had to film it all down. In all the hype of course I did not realise that my group of friends had left to explore other places, with only a few remaining to watch me wet myself with excitement. It was a small choir of about 25, with little kids and adults singing together, and they were singing one of those catchy upbeat tunes I’m not sure if I have heard it before or if it was so catchy that I find it familiar.

Not to mention that elderly choir in the cafeteria of the hostel we were staying at. I they were just visiting the area or touring, but they brought out a birthday cake for one of the elderly men, and started singing Happy Birthday in French! And then they just had to sing another short 4-part all men piece in celebration of his birthday. At that point of time I was so proud to be a choir geek I swear, albeit a closet one. I was thinking: holy, all choirs around the world do this! It reminded me of my secondary school and JC choir, bursting out in short pieces and celebrating birthdays randomly.

It helped that I found a fellow choir geek on this trip, and we could get excited together, talk about our different choir experiences together, and sing two parts out of four-part songs because we have to make do 🙂

– Germaine –

Singing Scientists

Having recently met a fellow neurobiologist at Europa Cantat, a choral
festival in Turin, Italy, I wondered if there are many other scientists out there that
sing. Thinking back, my roommate in graduate school sang in an acapella group
while several of my lab-mates used to sing in choirs. Life as a scientist can get pretty
frustrating and I guess singing is an easy way of de-stressing.

Here’s a hilarious Lady Gaga parody produced by a bunch of biology graduate
students back in 2011. It’s a surprisingly accurate depiction of what life in science is
like, and all done through song. Enjoy!



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 – 

Turin in Twelve

While struggling with a lukewarm chicken pesto pizza—not unlike Proust’s madeleine—during a mid-week office party, I was beset by a tide of remembrance of a more recent past, ruminating on images of carefree traipsing around small Torinese cobblestone lanes, magenta Europa Cantat songbook in one hand and a cup of crema di Grom in another. These were more genteel times, I thought nostalgically, setting out to type this post. (The real reason: was beset by gentle reminders/chiding to complete this blog entry!!)

As a sort of inferior nod to Eric Bank’s Twelve Flowers (a brilliant, demanding composition that we performed for the Due North concert in September) here are twelve dispatches from an unforgettable summer of song:

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I ❤ coffee

‘ok, I think we have a break now, let’s take 15min, come back again xxpm’

Then you see ppl dash out, for toilet (you need high intake of H2O), for food (you got to use all muscles to work together), for coffee/coke/tea etc (you need high level of concentration and need to survive for the next 2 hour or various reason.

I, have fully convert to coffee addict, after 9 years training in choir. If you 不以为然, wait ah! 9 years later we shall see Hahahaahahahaha!

– left handed (Shen Een)








Of Hair and the Choir Schedule.

Just a few days ago, I snipped off my long hair. I have been keeping it for about two years, but it’s become too much of a burden, literally and figuratively, so much so that I decided to go back to having short hair.

But as I was making this decision, SYC’s performance schedule popped into my mind. I was thinking, when’s the next performance? How short should my hair be so that I don’t have to worry about tying it up or putting three million pins on them, etc.

And then I realize, for the past few years singing with SYC, our performance schedule also seemed to have dictated my hair-cutting schedule. Whether it’s perming, or (and especially) trimming of the fringe, it would always depend on our performance schedule.

Weird, but true story. And hey, I’m sure many of the girls in SYC do the same…!

Anyway, on another not-so-related note, after having sung Alto for the March concert and then taking a long break after that, I’m back to singing Soprano again. That’s a 6-month hiatus from the stratosphere. I hope I, or rather, my muscles, still remember how to float those notes situated on the RIGHT side of the piano (nicely)…! Looking forward to all the super-exciting-weird-awesome harmonies and rhythms that I see (note: haven’t really heard them for how they sound like), in all my Sept concert scores. Woohoo. Here comes the real challenge after a long break!