LIVE STREAMING- 18th Choir Festival
Message - The Moderator
I am happy to learn that the UAE CSI Choir Festival is completing glorious 18 years of celebration and praise. I thank God for the pioneers of this festival for their vision and determination to take the message of God’s love and comfort through singing in the Diaspora. Singing in a Diaspora context is not always easy. Organizing and maintaining a choir in a distinct situation demands much patience and perseverance. I appreciate all the efforts put in by the choir groups of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, Jebel Ali and Sharjah to make this divine event beautiful and meaningful.
Music and song continue to play a vital role in the life of God s people today. Contemporary culture and modern technology bring new possibilities and new challenges to the music ministry of the church. Membership in a church choir implies we are part of a significant commitment. In nutshell, Choir is an opportunity for involvement, an extension of the Pulpit and a reflection of the heavenly singing. Singing is the highest form of human expression. What we can and must say quite confidently is that the church which does not sing is not the church. The praise of God which finds its concrete culmination in the singing of the community is one of the indispensable forms of the ministry of the church. Music should communicate and express a sense of awe and wonder in the presence of God, it should lead our thoughts toward God rather than toward ourselves.
As you gather together at the Sharjah church for the 18th UAE CSI Choir festival, it is my earnest prayer that the Almighty may bless and strengthen the leaders and the members of the choir to take the message of God’s perpetual love and care to the hearts that diligently seek the Lord. I wish the General Conveners, the Vicar, and all choir members all success and prayers.
With best wishes
Greetings to you all in the matchless name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As we all know, the 18th UAE CSI Choir Festival is being hosted by the CSI Parish, Sharjah. We would like to make this event a blessed worship offering to our Savior.
The Madhya Kerala Diocese of the Church of South India, has declared the year 2019 as the “Year of Spirituality”. Spirituality is nothing but the celebration of our divine inner being. I wish and pray that each and every moment of this choir festival turns out to be a celebration as we discover our divine inner being.
Choristers play an important role in our worship to help the congregation to lead their inner spirit to God the Almighty. May God help us to believe what we sing for the glory of God.
Best wishes and prayers,
Rev. Varughese Mathew
Vicar – CSI Parish, Sharjah
Dear Music lovers and worshippers,
Greetings to you all. It is indeed a privilege to be part of the 18th UAE choir festival and in the very outset I congratulate all the participating choirs and the hosting parish, the CSI Church Sharjah. May our rendering of songs be an occasion to praise the Almighty for the abundance that we have received throughout generations as a faith community.
Music has enormous power to engage with emotions and the Bible resounds with praise and thanks to God through music. Music played a number of different roles including assisting in the memorization of God’s truth and in reminding God’s people of their fall and salvation. A rich variety of music that is in harmony with the ministry of God’s word is a significant part of life of the church and points towards the role of music in our praise of God in heaven.
Good music has wonderful power to excite, console and cheer us. The Bible is full of musical praises to God. Music always addresses God and man and reminds people of their stage of fall. Music always helps to assist the memorization of truth and the role of music was to fix songs in the minds of people. The first and most important function of the church choir is to lead the congregation’s song. The church choir always serves as a small group within the church for faith formation. Through beautiful and valuable music the choir sings to praise God and edify the congregation.
A choir can be vital to any church because choirs are biblical. A choir always encourages excellence in worship and celebrates the human voice. Choirs encourage music and diversity. May this Choir Festival help us to become part of a redemptive community and help us to serve God together for the extension of his kingdom.
Yours in Christ’s service,
CSI Parish, Dubai
“Four thousand people were dedicated to the ministry of music….” (1 Chr 23:5) Thus says the Bible.
Music is a wonderful and powerful means of worship. God calls us to sing praise to the Lord. We honour Him, praise Him and worship Him through music. When we sing from our hearts with single minded dedication and faith, true worship happens. Music can lift one’s spirit and give comfort to many souls going through severe trials and tribulations. It has got that healing touch. It will inspire, empower and transform men and history is rich with many instances where music has done wonders and reformed men to become worthy soldiers in God’s ministry.
As Sharjah CSI Parish is hosting the 18th UAE CSI Choir Festival, I earnestly pray to God that this event will be a resounding success. I hope and pray that all choristers, who had put in many hours of hard work, sing harmoniously praising and honoring God. The entire Abu Dhabi CSI Malayalam Parish congregation joins me in wishing the Vicar, church committee and the choir all success in this endeavor and wish them many more fruitful and faithful years of service in His ministry.
Rev. Sojee Vergis John
Vicar, CSI Parish, Abu Dhabi
A slice of heaven on earth
The music ministry is one of the most important in a church. The choir enhances the worship space and is a vehicle that ushers in the presence of God. It sets and establishes an ambience conducive to worship, enabling God’s presence to move about in the congregation. It prompts each one in the congregation to experience the Holy Spirit at a personal level.
I believe that when a church choir sings beautiful and challenging music to glorify God and to edify the congregation, heaven rejoices along with the people of God. All those long practice hours are well spent if we have the experience of being one with the heavenly host of angels in glorifying God.
The choir has a variety of responsibilities. Its primary role is to support and enhance the congregation in singing worship songs. The choir joins the priest in leading the worship by guiding the gathered assembly in prayer and praise through song.
The choir trains and rehearses for the specific task of leading the song and praise of the people of God. A church’s ministry is only as effective as its congregation — the people who choose to get involved in the worship. Small groups, outreach teams and the arts have provided great opportunities for congregations to sow life-giving seeds into different church’s ministries. The choir falls under all three of those categories.
I’ve often heard the choir being referred to as “a church within the church”. As a chorister, I’m not just singing musical notes in an orderly fashion, I’m living in the presence of God and doing God’s ministry — a ministry that the CSI considers very important in its life and mission.
Prophet Isaiah gives us a glimpse into the throne room in heaven with angels singing together: “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isaiah 6:3). John paints a similar picture in the book of Revelation: There is a heavenly choir that sings God’s praises for all eternity. When the congregation and the choir sing in harmony and in spirit, we are transported to that throne room.
May the 18th UAE Choir Fest be a blessed occasion for all of us. May the hearts of our choristers and congregations be lifted up unto the Lord in one accord. May the heaven rejoice as five CSI parishes in the UAE sing together in joyful harmony.
May we — the choristers, worship leaders and the congregation — experience a slice of heaven on earth this Choir Fest.
Yours in Christ,
Rev Byju Eapen, Vicar, All Saints CSI Parish, Jebel Ali, & CSI Malayalam Parish, Al Ain
Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord;
I am privileged and honored to be part of the UAE Choir festival for the last 18 years. Music is an important part of worship and praise to God. Participating in divine worship services as a choir member is a sacred responsibility, not to be taken lightly. Choir members offer their God-given talents to God for a variety of reasons. For most, it is a part of their stewardship – the giving of their “time and talents.” They are a group of called, “commissioned” and “committed” people.
A great choir member loves the Lord and loves to sing. He or she has fallen in love with the one who has placed the song in their heart. Singing in Church choir gives us an opportunity to express our love for the Lord. Singing praises to God is the closest thing to heaven that we can experience on this earth. Singing will be the only part of our worship that continues in heaven.
What a blessing and joy it has been to sing in church and in a choir. Let us continue to praise the Lord through music as long as we are called to serve. With the ministry of music, let us serve the Lord with gladness and dedicate our lives for the glory of God. Let us be thankful to God for our salvation and His presence in our life and in ministry.
God bless you all
Choir Master – CSI Parish, Sharjah
“The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.” Then the temple of the LORD was filled with the cloud.” - 2 Chronicles 5:13
Greetings to all in Jesus’ precious name!
Music is one of the priceless gifts God gave us. Music touches us like nothing else, reaching into our inner depths, giving us expression beyond the range of rational thought, offering us an instrument of praise to God and a manifestation of the community as we sing together.
From its modest beginnings of starting with Choirs of 3 parishes in the year 2002, the Choir Fest has grown from strength to strength to Choirs of 5 parishes with a total strength of above 200 Choristers now, blending their voices together in glorifying our God through song and music, giving us a foretaste of what it would be when the redeemed of all nations join together in song to worship the Almighty.
18 years ago a handful of visionaries had an idea that has grown to what it is today. Thanks to all the outstanding leaders and the Vicars who charted the course for the UAE choir festival during its entire history. May the purpose of the Choir fest remain strong and relevant and blessed from above, in the coming years too!
Wish all the very best and pray for a blessed 18th UAE CSI Choir Festival going to be held at Sharjah Worship centre on 11th May 2019.
Dubai CSI Parish Choir.
UAE CSI Choir Festival is something which all Choral music lovers look forward to, year after year, with greater enthusiasm and expectations. This is a festival of vocal harmony of more than 200 choristers from all over UAE that enlivens the audience with specially selected woks of both contemporary as well as ancient Composers both in English and Malayalam. This is also a joyous occasion of having meaningful fellowship not only between the singing fraternities but also between all CSI Parishners of UAE.
This year’s UAE CSI Choir Festival is going to be even more special as this is falling in the backdrop of UAE’s ‘Year of Tolerance’. On this occasion, we thankfully remember the Rulers of this great nation UAE, and their benevolence of freedom to worship, their generosity, tolerance and inclusiveness. We take this opportunity to wish them long life and all blessings from God Almighty.
As Sharjah CSI Parish plays host for this year’s UAE Choir Festival on 11th May 2019, Abu Dhabi Choir wish the Sharjah Vicar, Parish Committee and Sharjah Choir a blessed event that will bring glory and honour to God alone. May all who attend this glorious event experience the wonderful presence of the Risen Christ and His abiding presence in our hearts.
CSI Parish, Abu Dhabi.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
There is familiar hymn whose chorus is as follows:-
" When we all get to heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!"
I often wonder how much our Heavenly Father and His heavenly hosts would rejoice to see 200+ of His children gather together with one heart, mind and accord to sing praises unto His name. As we join and sing together in unity as the combined choirs of the CSI parishes in the UAE, we get to experience a blessed foretaste of the glory and joy that we can experience in heaven. How much more also, would our Heavenly Father also see a foretaste of us singing together unto Him on that Day, and beyond!
I am also reminded of a story of Sir Michael Costa who was conducting a rehearsal in which the orchestra was joined by a great chorus. About halfway through the session, with trumpets blaring, drums rolling, and violins singing their rich melody, the piccolo player muttered to himself, “What good am I doing? I might just as well not be playing. Nobody can hear me anyway.” So he kept the instrument to his mouth, but he made no sound. Within moments, the conductor cried, “Stop! Stop! Where’s the piccolo?” It was missed by the ear of the most important person of all !! - This story reminds us that every heart and every voice is important to the Lord, irrespective of our level of musical ability or volume or age.
As we jointly sing as a joint choir, may the Almightily and Everlasting God be truly glorified and praised. May all our efforts be our very best, with the full fear of the Lord, knowing that we are in His presence!
As we read in Colossians 3:13-16, the exhortation to sing also comes on the heels of bearing with one another, forgiving one another, putting on love, being at peace as one united body of Christ, and teaching God’s Word to one another. May our loving Lord enable our parishes and members to continue to do so in the years to come, as we gather together every year to jointly sing as one voice!
Choir Master – CSI Parish, Jebel Ali
Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds — his name is the Lord— be exultant before him. (Psalm 68.4)
We greet you all with a note of praise at a moment when the eighteenth edition of the UAE CSI Choir Festival resonates the background.
Started long time back as programmes, our Choir Festivals have evolved to be occasions of celebrations. Moreover they are now well awaited occasions to evaluate our standards of choral singing and development of talent, helping each one of those who are involved to consider possibilities of quality enhancement at individual and group levels .
Beyond anything, these festivals demonstrate to us the grace of God who has chosen us sinners to be his servants in the ministry of praise. We stand together in a place which is beyond our homeland, where we evolve to the situations and tune ourselves to the divine notes of jubilation. Indeed, isn't this a taste of heaven? Ashley John Dan
This is the sixth occasion when Sharjah is playing host for the Choir Festival. I am blessed in that I was in some way involved in the conduct of the event whenever it was in Sharjah - 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013 & 2016.
And I cannot forget the various and stage-by-stage improvement the Choir Festival had during these years. In 2004 we had a digital display, which kept the audience engaged when time was taken for stage arrangements. In 2007 the practice of having a divine service at the start was introduced. 2010 was the time when we showcased pictures and videos of the previous Choir Festivals. The full page supplement in Malayala Manorama, which helped to spread the wave of the festival across the Keralites abroad was one highlight of 2013. Dulci Jubilo, the souvenir published in 2016, documented the history of the UAE Choir Festival till then. The 2016 edition was significant through the presence of the noted musician Mr. Jerry Amaldev. The Music Workshop arranged along with was a meaningful one.
With a sense of hope and joy, (coupled with the usual tensions and apprehensions as well!) Sharjah looks forward to the 18th edition of the UAE Choir Festival. And we invite and request prayers for a divine touch upon the whole song service which will transform it to be an act of worship.
This is my prayer in the desert
And all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides! (Brooke Fraser: Desert Song)