When most people first hear the name of our choir they tend to have amused reactions.
Exclamations like "6.45am! You sing at what time?" are the norm.
Yes, we really do sing at the 6.45am service and in fact have been doing so since December 4, 1994. During Christmas and Easter, services actually begin at 6.30am!
Before the end of 1994, there was no choir at the first service. The priest would lead the congregation through two hymns with the help of an organist each Sunday.
Originally - but none of us can remember until when exactly - there were no hymns at the first service.
Then one of the organists at the time, Evelyn Lim (who is our choir director), and an 8.15am Sunday Service Choir member, Francis Makam (who is now happily married to her!), came up with the idea to add communion hymns to the service.
The initial suggestion was for a few members to come in during communion to sing.
However, the idea was not practical so Evelyn and Francis thought why not form a choir?
The idea was put to the Venerable Archdeacon Solomon Cheong, who was the Dean at the time and hence the 6.45 Choir, as we're usually known, was born.
Initially a small group of ladies and a few members of the 8.15am Service Choir became our founding members.
Slowly but surely, God touched the hearts of more members to join this ministry.
Some were new to choir singing, others experienced members who had served previously and felt His call to use their talents again.
Taking small steps, the choir started off singing only in unison and then moved on to four-part harmony - Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass. Though the transition was not easy, the hard work paid off.
Over the years, as part of our growth and development, we have visited many parishes especially in the rural areas.
In 2002, we initiated and organised a choir conference, which was attended by over 200 choir members from eight parishes, the furthest being St. Luke's, Sri Aman.
Since 1994, our musical repertoire has expanded from just the set hymns.
Although many of us do not read music, it has not hampered our zeal and enthusiasm to master both modern contemporary anthems and classical pieces (even in Latin and Italian!).
In 2003, we sat for Trinity College London's Bronze Choral Assessment.
When Evelyn first approached us with the idea two years before, most of us declined entertaining the idea as we are not professionals.
However, through God's grace and many, many, many hours of practice, we managed to pass with Distinction.
Our examiner, David Sadler, commented that judging from the difficulty of the pieces we performed, we should really have taken the Silver Choral Assessment and that in his opinion we would still have passed!
Currently we have some 40 members. Many of us have been together since the choir was formed.
With God's constant guidance we have truly grown together as a musical family.
We would like to thank all those who have given us so much support over the years both spiritually, musically, financially and physically (especially during Parish Sales).
We have been extremely touched by the overwhelming encouragement given to us in various forms and would like to record our appreciation here.
May God continue to bless all our lives with His beautiful music.
Choir Director: Evelyn Lim
Organist: Dolly Crocker
Members as of August 2011
Claudia Mas Peter
Edna Victor George
Elsie Anyan Suyong
Janeth Albert Girik
Rebecca Lydia Richmond
Valerie Tabitha Giang
Hilda Jawai Peter
Stephanie Rae Siaw
Francis Makam Endo
Lindsay Logan Awell
Davis Herould Awell
We welcome those interested to serve in this Ministry. Please contact our choir director for an audition.