I was first acquainted with the Ave Maria text through Sergei Rachmaninov’s Bogoroditse Dievo as a young chorister in 2002. Touched by the intensity of that work, the Ave Maria text has since held a special place in my heart.
Ave Maria was written specially for the Saint Andrew’s Secondary School Choir for their participation in the 2009 Singapore Youth Festival Choral Competition after a long and unfruitful search for suitable Asian repertoire for young TTBB choirs with cambiata voices. Based on material in the original SATB version written for the Saint Andrew’s Junior College Chorale, some revisions were made with ability and vocal range of the choir in mind. I consider this piece to be a better edition and more economical than its predecessor and hope it contributes to the small body of Asian choral literature for young TTBB choirs. I am indebted to the award-winning Taipei Male Choir who was the first choir to premiere this in Taiwan. This latest revision was inspired by the fantastic singing of the Orphei Dränger.
I would not have the fortune of having Dr Kelly Tang supervise the original SATB version without Jennifer Tham’s help. The work is dedicated to mentor, friend and comrade-in-arms Jennifer Tham.
27 April 2009
(Revised 21 October 2010)
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