The Millennial Orchestra (TMO) was conceptualized through a road of self-discovery, and birthed out of the joint effort of Lee Tat Haur and Leo Chee Keong from City Harvest Church (CHC). The two music enthusiasts, a violinist and a trumpeter respectively, yearned to use their passion for music constructively for the benefit of the church and the community. It all started when CHC’s Children’s Church invited them to conduct a music elective for their attendees in 2006; from a humble 3-member ensemble, TMO has since grown to become a 40-member orchestra. TMO, a name not foreign to CHC’s congregation, made their debut performance in early 2008, featuring the evergreen “Messiah” by renowned GF Hendel. Behind the smart business suits and elegant black gowns, TMO is a collection of ordinary people with ordinary occupations, yet with a common passion for music creation and expression. TMO garners the talents of individuals from all walks of life — the directors of TMO believe that music making is in the heart of every individual member of the orchestra. Since then, they have matured from an orchestra that played simpler pieces in the presence of 7,000, to playing intricate and arduous ones like “Sketches of Singapore” by Dr Kelly Tang, a local composer, in front of an international audience of 10,000 in the inaugural Asia Conference 2008. TMO has also engaged maestro Chan Wei Shing, a reputable cellist with rich musical experience, to become their resident conductor and music director. Chan has since committed himself to refining the technicalities of TMO and inspiring the members’ exploration of creative music expression.
|PHOTOS: James Lee, Michael Chan|
TMO’s first public concert to be held at the Victoria Concert Hall, 23 August 2009, is set to draw the audience into the enchanted realm of classical music. The night will feature special performances by CHC’s Adult Choir, opera singers and delectable symphonies. A great motivation for TMO is an upcoming national music program in Venezuela, “El Sistema”, that aims to reach out to children of poorer regions, using music to transform the community. “The classical repertoire is huge… it is how we make the right music for the right people,” keenly put by Chan. TMO’s ultimate vision is, hence, to educate and to empower, touching the masses with excellent music, hoping to effect positive change in the society.