Since our inception in 2004, Vox Camerata has gone through an amazing journey of discovering ourselves and the roles we play in the wider choral music community. When we first started, we held on to two fundamental values. The first is that everyone, irrespective of their background and ability, should be given a place and space to sing in the choir. Secondly, we strive our utmost best to make good music. We see these twin beliefs as two sides of the same coin, held together by a practice of teaching, mentoring and nurturing as a community.
In the last 16 years of fostering our community and making music together, our role within the choral music scene also began to grow. One of our key strengths is our capacity to build long lasting friendships. Our concert series became performance opportunity platforms, with the intent to help boost the visibility of choirs and communities that are underserved. We continue to build strong relationships with other choirs as well as professional musicians, and even took to incubating new choirs.
At the end of 2019, Vox Camerata had the opportunity to reassess its role in the wider arts community. Using the SG Arts Plan (2018 – 2022) as a framework, we saw that there is a lack of capacity for advocacy and research within the choral music sphere(s). While there have been a few evidenced-based enquiries pertaining to Singapore’s choral music, none of these enquiries have been practitioner-led. This has implications on existing thought leadership for this sector, as well as how we as a community of choral music practitioners react and behave when facing sector-wide challenges.
The COVID-19 pandemic in the year 2020 made the lack of thought leadership even more stark; when the pandemic happened the majority of the sector floundered. This is the time when the people in the choral music scene need to come together as a community, to weather the challenges together and to collectively dream of a better future. Vox Camerata is prepared to help bring the choral music communities together through the undertaking of various projects and initiatives to meet these challenges.
From here on, we focus on three issues:
Strengthening research in the choral music sphere(s)
To help build diverse capabilities of choral music practitioners
To garner and canvas sector-wide support for freelance choral music professionals
How do focusing on these challenges change Vox Camerata? In truth, very little will change. We are now merely formalising the things that we’ve been always doing these past few years, and providing a more visible structure to how we run things. The Vox Camerata Community Choir continues to be the heart of the organization, for as far as we’re concerned the community choir embodies the best of our mission and our values. The Vox Camerata Chamber Choir continues to exist to serve the community choir as leaders and mentors, and to provide a space for experienced choristers to make music in a safe and nurturing environment.
Beyond the community choir and the chamber choir, the organization will tap on both existing members as well as other partners to take on different initiatives that serve as interventions for the choral music scene. These initiatives include preparing white papers on representing the interests of the choral music scene, organizing town hall sessions to discuss issues with the community, and even carrying out research to better understand the needs and concerns of choral music practitioners in Singapore.
It is our hope that we will become a charity in the near future, in order to better serve the wider choral music community. To that end, Vox Camerata has established a board of directors, whose membership is drawn from both the community choir and from the wider communities. The board of directors will ensure that good governance is practiced, operationally as well as artistically, and that we will eventually be worthy of said charity status.
On that note, come and join us in our efforts to advocate for the choral music scene in Singapore. We eagerly look forward to having friends with us on our journey to making Singapore a more conducive home for the arts.