Loading
Malaysian church choir seeks to balance Catholic, local traditions
Laudis chamber choir. Credit: Gerald Mohan Constantine.
Laudis chamber choir. Credit: Gerald Mohan Constantine.
By Antonio Anup Gonsalves
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The “Laudis” chamber choir based in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur is seeking to revive the tradition of sacred music in the local Church, balancing it with an appreciation of local music.

“We cannot perform new, contemporary and local music at the expense of the rich heritage that belongs to the Roman Catholic culture; nor can we simply perform the great music of our Catholic heritage at the expense of a local tradition, because we are such a multicultural country,” Shanti Michael, a co-founder of Laudis, told CNA.

“Music is considered one of the highest art forms for worship and prayer, and choral music is particularly the epitome of internal participation and prayer,” she added.

Listening to sacred choral music performed beautifully facilitates the heart and mind in prayer, Michael reflected.

“With the great tradition of chant, the sacred words of scripture come to life beautifully,” she said, reiterating that singing “often imparts a more effective theological footprint than just listening to Scripture being read. There is a reason why monks and nuns in monasteries still sing the Divine Office.”

She observed that in order for choirs to be prayerful and effective, they must perform well, and so training should be made available to the musicians who volunteer their time and efforts.

“Finances and time should always be invested in musical and liturgical training programs for church musicians and in appropriate resources for church choirs.”

Laudis specializes in polyphony, the only style of music, aside from Gregorian chant, that the Second Vatican Council identified in particular as welcome in liturgical celebrations. Laudis sings polyphony by Victoria and Palestrina, among other 16th century composers.

The group was founded in 2013 by Michael and Lisa Ho, and draws singers from several denominations.

Michael acknowledged that the main challenge for a Catholic chamber choir in Malaysia is that there are a “limited number of experienced, formed singers.” She lamented that the Catholic Church has “lost” much of its choral tradition.

She did emphasize that there is a need for inculturation in the country, and that a “balanced repertoire” is appropriate.

“I believe we are still searching for a liturgical musical identity.”

Michael holds a bachelor of music in choral conducting from Australian Catholic University, and earned a masters of sacred music from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. She founded a youth choir in Melbourne, and was graduate assistant for the Notre Dame Folk Choir.

Tags: Laudis, Shanti Michael, Polyphony

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
19

Liturgical Calendar

December 19, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14