Andrew Leung, artistic director and conductor for the Mass
Andrew Leung is the founder and director of music of Vox Antiqua. He earned his degree in sacred music from Franciscan University of Steubenville, USA. He studied vocal performance under Jessica Ewell, Alanna Keenan and Christopher Warwick; organ and conducting with Nicholas Will and Paul Weber and has been instructed in choral singing, conducting and Gregorian chant by world-acclaimed masters from England, the US, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.
After graduating from college, Andrew was appointed as the director of music at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Atlanta, where he also taught music at the local Trappist monastery. In recent years, Andrew returns to Hong Kong after serving as the choirmaster and organist at the Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady, Macau, where he founded and directed the Cathedral Schola of Macau. He continues to maintain a busy conducting schedule: Apart from Vox Antiqua, Andrew is also the conductor of the Cecilian Singers, one of the oldest choirs in Hong Kong, with whom he recently gave the Asia premiere of Paul Mealor’s Requiem. The choir also performed with Hans Zimmer, an award-winning film score composer, at his recent “Live on Tour” Hong Kong stopover, in which Andrew was invited to serve as the Chorus Master.
Andrew is an active member of the Church Music of America, and was invited to participate as a panelist at the annual Colloquium recently. He cofounded the Southeastern Chapter of the Association and served on the faculty of their annual sacred music workshop. He had also hold similar workshops for consecrated religious and parish musicians in Hong Kong and Macau. Andrew is currently serving on the executive committee of the American Guild of Organists Hong Kong Chapter and the Hong Kong Hymnos Festival.
As a soloist, Andrew’s recent performances include singing works by Bach and Buxtehude at the Hong Kong City Hall and taking the role of “the narrator” in The Passion at St. John’s Cathedral. He has also been serving as a cantor for the Sunday Mass webcast at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception during the pandemic. Andrew is an artist at the Paul Phoenix Academy, where he works with the former tenor of the King’s Singers and a two-time Grammy Award winner.
Musicians for the Concert 音樂會
Hong Kong Youth Choir
Established in 1998, Hong Kong Youth Choir (HKYC) is an energetic and dynamic choir in Hong Kong. The choir has an inclusive repertoire from Baroque oratorios to Broadway musicals, as well as local and Asian premieres of choral works by various composers under the directorship of its five Music Director Laureates and the current Music Director Mr. Christopher Cheng.
The choir has collaborated with many leading local and overseas renowned musicians. Notable previous performances include a complete Les Misérables with celebrated singers such as Sean Oliver, Apollo Wong, Melody Sze and Carol Lin in December 2014, also a John Rutter concert in July 2017 and a Bob Chilcott concert in Jan 2020 with the composers conducting in person. Beside performances, The choir also got prizes from international choral competition in Singapore and Taipei.
Even in recent years with social instability and the pandemic, the Choir still strived to bring quality choral music to the audience across the ages, from J.S. Bach’s complete motets, Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart, Brahms and Zelenka’s Requiem, to Palmeri’s Tango Gloria, Thompson’s Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, a dedicated concert to the works of the Beatles and Bob Chilcott, all aiming to include various type of music and broaden the audience’s imagination.
Demonstrating its commitment to nourishing local musicians, the choir strives to promote new commissions and collaborations with local artists. Besides including works from local composers from time to time, the choir has also done the series “Choral Panorama – Local Sound I, II and III” featuring works from local composers, including an all-Cantonese concert in Dec 2021.
As a registered non-profit making charitable organization, the choir has participated in various performances for the benefit of other charitable organizations. With around 40 young, energetic and dedicated members, the choir will always strive for its best to enrich the cultural life of Hong Kong with quality music.
Chris Chi-shan Cheng, music director
Chris Chi-shan Cheng graduated from the Hong Kong Baptist University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Messiah University with BA (Percussion Performance), PgDE, MA, Certificate of Advanced Studies (Orchestral Conducting), and MM (Choral Conducting) degrees in music. He holds Dip ABRSM and LRSM (percussion) and certificates (singing and piano) with distinctions. He also holds an American Guild of English Handbell Ringers Level I Handbell Director’s Certificate.
He is currently the music director of Hong Kong Youth Choir and conductor of City University of Hong Kong Choir. Prior to the part-time teaching position at City University of Hong Kong, he was a part-time lecturer at The Education University of Hong Kong, the former Hong Kong Institute of Education. He is also a clinician and conducting teacher of the Hong Kong Inter-school Choral Festival.
Cheng’s conducting teachers include: Jon Washburn (2018 and 2012 Vancouver Chamber Choir National Conductors’ Symposium), Brady Allred and James Davey (Association of Irish Choirs 38th International Choral Conducting Summer School), William Weinert (2016 Hong Kong SingFest), Nicolas Fink (2016 Hong Kong Arts Festival Conducting Masterclass), Chen Yun-hung (2015 Die Konzertisten Conducting Masterclass), Dénes Szabó (World Youth and Children’s Choir Festival Hong Kong 2015, conducting Hungary Cantemus Pro Musica Girls’ Choir), Stephen Coker (2015 Hong Kong SingFest), Rolf Beck and Helmuth Rilling (2013 Hong Kong SingFest, conducting Hong Kong Sinfonietta).
Cheng has prepared choruses for John Rutter and Bob Chilcott and collaborated with pianists Nancy Loo and Raymond Young. He has performed at the ‘2018 Zhuhai Hong Kong Macao Choral Concert’ in the Opera Hall of the Zhuhai Grand Theatre. His recent repertoire includes complete J. S. Bach’s Lutheran Masses and six Motets, Brahms’s Requiem, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Handel’s Messiah, Dixit Dominus and Coronation Anthems, Mozart’s Requiem in D minor and Coronation Mass, Palmeri’s Tango Gloria, Faure’s Requiem, Poulenc’s Gloria, Rutter’s Gloria, Mass of the Children and Visions, Basler’s Missa Kenya and concert version of Schönberg’s Les Misérables.
Projects conducted by Cheng have received Hong Kong Arts Development Council Emerging Artist Grant and Project Grant multiple times, and he was a recipient of Pro Arte Orchestra Scholarship for many years.
Cheng is a finalist and The second runner-up of Asia Pacific Choral Summit Hong Kong Choral Conducting Competition 2019 and he received SCMP Student of the Year 2019 Special Mentorship Award. He captured the category champion (Musica Sacra) with a Gold with Hong Kong Youth Choir in 2016 Singapore International Choral Festival, two Silvers with St. Joseph’s College Chamber Boys’ Choir in Hong Kong Winter Choral Festival 2017 and 2018, and two Silvers with Hong Kong Youth Choir (Female Choir and Musica Sacra) in Taipei International Choral Festival, two Golds in Hong Kong Inter-school Choral Festival 2019 and 2020 with SJC Chamber Boys’ Choir, and a Silver in 2020 PPA International Music Festival with Alumni Choir of St. Joseph’s College and Holy Family Canossian College, Category Champion, Gold, and Creative Choreography Award in 2021 Taiwan International Choral Competition (Children Choir Class) with SJC Chamber Boys’ Choir, and three Silvers in Rimini International Choral Competition 2021 with SJC Chamber Boys’ Choir.
He has collaborated with Cantoria HK, chamber choir of HKBU, Hong Kong Oratorio Society, SingFest (Hong Kong), Hong Kong Welsh Male Voice Choir, Hong Kong Children’s Choir, Hong Kong Treble Choir, HKUSU Christian Choir, UST Christian Choir, Aqua Voice (Hong Kong), choir of St. Andrew’s Secondary School (Singapore), choir of Victoria Junior College (Singapore), choir of Anderson Junior College (Singapore), choir of Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School, choir of Sha Tin Methodist College, choir of Marymount Secondary School, choir of Holy Family Canossian College, choir and orchestra of St. Mary’s Canossian College, chamber orchestra of La Salle College, choir of St. Stephen’s College, and choir of Wa Ying College.
Musicians for the Holy Mass 彌撒
Chere Ko, organist
Born in Hong Kong. Chere graduated from the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music (U.K.). She was the first female recipient of The Flentrop Scholarship, which enabled a residency at the Flentrop Orgelbouw and further studies with renowned Dutch organists. Chere was the recipient of the Artistic Excellence Award (Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University) and the John R. Rodland Memorial Organ Competition (Third Prize). She has given recitals at notable venues such as Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (Portland, OR), St. Mark’s Cathedral (Seattle), St. George’s (Hanover Square, London), Central Synagogue (NYC), Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine (NYC). She also participated in the Pipedreams broadcast – Pipedreams Live – Indiana University II!
Chere is a doctoral candidate at the Jacobs School of Music. Her past teachers include Janette Fishell (Indiana University) and David Briggs (Artist-in-Residence at St. John the Divine). Chere is the associate director of music of Vox Antiqua.
In 2015, a group of Catholics with great passion for sacred music and Catholic hymns gathered and established Francis Choristers, aiming for evangelization mainly through their repertoire of hymns beyond those sung at masses, bringing the good news to everyone.
Francis Choristers’ activities include musical prayer service jointly organized with parishes in the city or performing as guests, and carolling in shopping malls or outdoor venues. During the pandemic in the past two years, the group’s public events were replaced by pilgrimages cum singing, which were recorded and uploaded to social network sites to serve the purpose of evangelization.
The group perceives themselves as God’s servants and tools for spreading God’s words. Once our recording of a hymn about Mother Mary touched the heart of an admirer of Our Lady. This lady was seriously ill, but she found great joy listening to the hymn during her last days. We bore witness to God‘s great work through our humble service.
Service is, indeed, a valued ministry of Francis Choristers’. At wedding ceremonies or bereavement prayer services, Francis Choristers bless the newlyweds and pray for the deceased. The choir sees these as opportunities to bring the good news to non-believers while they are serving God.
Francis Choristers pray that their praises be accepted by God in heaven. ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!’
Vox Antiqua (VA), meaning the antique voice, is a liturgical choir based in the city of Hong Kong. The choir was founded in October 2017 by Andrew Leung, along with a group of Catholic music enthusiasts.
The mission of VA is to sing church music to its highest standard. The choir is especially passionate in singing sacred choral music written in the Western “Classical” style, both old and new. VA is committed to pursue musical excellence both inside and outside of the liturgy.
VA takes residence in Our Lady of China Parish, Tai Kok Tsui, and sings for a monthly service there. The choir has also been invited to sing for various liturgies, as well as non-liturgical performances at over thirty churches in Hong Kong and Macau. Some of the choir’s most recent projects include the world premiere of Andrew Leung’s Requiem for All Souls in 2021 and the Hong Kong premiere of Josef Rheinberger’s Requiem in D, Op. 194 in 2020. The choir was also featured in the inaugural season of the Hong Kong Hymnos Festival last November. In 2019, VA collaborated with Babεl, a Canadian choir, in a “Sacred Music Exchange” programme which includes a series of workshops and concerts in Hong Kong and Macau.