KOTA KINABALU: A total of seven musicians from St Simon Catholic Church Likas took part in a two-day organ training sessions, here, on Aug 18-19.
The aspiring organists were trained by three tutors from Singapore. The two full-time organ teachers from Methodist School of Music are Dr Evelyn Lim and Ng Chet Wei while Angela Lim leads the Evening Choir at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.
The training sessions included pedalling, finger and feet substitution exercises as well as playing the organ accompaniments for Mass (ie “Kyrie”, “Gloria”, “Sanctus” and “Agnus Dei” etc).
Following the finger substitution exercise, Dr Evelyn from Wesley Methodist Church candidly said, “everyone performed feats of finger contortions they never knew possible”. She also plays at Barker Road Methodist and Orchard Road Presbyterian churches.
Chet Wei is also an organist at the Paya Lebar Methodist and Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist churches.
Meanwhile, on June 14-17, four musicians from the parish went to Singapore for an organ familiarisation trip which included visits to the oldest and largest pipe organs in Singapore, at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd and Esplanade, respectively.
They were hosted by husband and wife team Alphonsus Chern and Angela who are choir leaders at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd. Alphonsus is also the region’s Allen organ distributor.
Following the familiarisation trip to the island-state, on June 23, St Simon Catholic Church Likas parish rector Fr Cosmas Lee blessed the new digital organ at the morning service.
Prior to the blessing ceremony, which also falls on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, Fr Cosmas described the months of arduous planning and hoisting of the digital organ undertaken by the committee.
“Above all, we must really pray for the musicians who need to commit themselves to the training programme,” he said.
He also shared some important points on the organ’s role in liturgical worship.
“Music is of the finest importance in the celebration of Divine Mysteries. In the Catholic church, among musical instruments, the organ has always held a place of honour.
“Whether it’s for accompaniment, singing or solo, this instrument offers praise to God, fosters a sense of prayer in the faithful and raises their spirits to God.
“Because of its close connection with the music and songs of the liturgical worship and its proper devotions, an organ should be blessed before being played for the first time in a liturgical celebration.”
The aspiring organists, led by Melissa Angus and assisted by Fay Fiona Limbai, are Judy Chang, Jennifer Chong, Elvy John Ansibin, Avril Lim and Audrey James Ansibin.