MACAU – Chow How Shen from Melaka, has won the Veritas Cup, a Chinese hymn-writing competition, with his hymn, “God is Love.”
Although the competition was judged in mid-July, the awards ceremony and Holy Music Festival was held in Macau 27-29 Oct 2017 at the Macau Diocesan Social Communication Centre.
A special Mass was celebrated and Bishop Stephen Lee Bun-sang of Macau presented the awards after Mass.
Judges of the Veritas Cup, a Chinese hymn-writing competition, have praised the marked improvement in the quality of this year’s entries.
So Kai-yi from Taiwan, the chairwoman of the jury, said that one criterion was how well the hymns reflected Christian faith.
Competition judge Wu Jiagong, principal of Guangqi Music School in Shanghai Diocese, noted that some entries were performed in an ancient Chinese chanting style.
However, Wu admitted that the bulk of mainland Chinese composers had yet to catch up with other entrants, including from Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
He added, however, that new Church music talent is emerging in China.
Judge Wu Ru-ran, a conductor from Taiwan, said traditional influences such as folk songs and operas should not be ignored.
“In addition to composing our works via our own experiences and emotions, we need to think more about the relationship between oneself with the earth and God,” he advised.
Wu noted that the treasure of Western Catholic music was accumulated over hundreds of years.
Themes of this year’s entries ranged from saints to family, children, religious orders and worship, as well as the sharing of faith.
The first contest in 2013 attracted 182 entries, with 16 per cent coming from overseas Chinese communities. — ucanews.com/heraldmalaysia online