Dazzling stained glass and the hushed anticipation of performers adjusting their attire set the stage for what was to be an evening of pure a cappella bliss. As members of the UrbanWire entered the hallowed halls of CHIJMES, and its stunning 19th-century neo-gothic architecture, their anticipation heightened as they silently waited for the centrepiece of the event to arrive.

Tonight’s main event? VOCES8, the renowned British vocal ensemble that prides itself on inspiring people through their music and sharing the joy of singing. The ensemble, which received a coveted Grammy nomination for Best Classical Compendium at the 65th Annual Awards, presented a vast repertoire of contemporary and classical songs to audiences around the world. They had opted to set foot into our little red dot five years after their first Singapore debut. 

The vocal ensemble, in partnership with Voices of Singapore, paired a series of seminars and masterclasses, along with the concerts on Tuesday, June 4th, 2024. The concerts were held at 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

VOS Youth Choir performing Salve Regina by Franco Prinsloo
Photo courtesy of Voices Of Singapore

While VOCES8 undoubtedly commanded the spotlight, the evening’s magic extended far beyond their performance. Along with them, the Voices of Singapore’s Children’s Choir and Youth Choir made guest appearances, promising a night of intergenerational harmony that left audiences bathed in pure vocal bliss.

“Being able to stand on stage with other people is a treat for us,” remarks Barnaby Smith, the Artistic Director of VOCES8. “So being able to have that fresh youthful energy from Voices of Singapore this evening is going to spur me on to do a great job, I’m sure.”

Dr. Darius Lim, Artistic Director of Voices of Singapore, has fostered a valuable partnership with VOCES8. This collaboration aims to build a strong musical foundation, inspiring future generations and leaving a lasting impact on audiences.

“VOCES8 is one of the very few groups in the world that has excellent educational methods and excellent artistic practices,” praises Dr Lim. “Their music education method reaches out to children, as well as youth and adults, in both community and professional groups.” 

“That’s why we were so excited to get VOCES8 in, because they embody the spirit of inclusive participation, while at the same time not forgetting the highest levels of music-making,” Dr. Lim continued.

VOS Youth Choir and VOCES8 performing a collaborative piece titled “Ashes to Dust” by VOS’ director Darius Lim
Photo courtesy of Voices Of Singapore

While VOCES8 champions a cappella and choral music for the masses, youth voices are poised to become the future of choral music.

“VOCES8: Twenty” was a powerful demonstration of the importance of connecting choral enthusiasts across generations. It also highlighted the need for experts to create spaces where young singers can gain confidence in their vocal talents.

“We’ve worked with probably nearly a million students now in the last 20 years. And we’ve given concerts all over the world,” says Paul Smith, the innovative and creative co-founder of VOCES8. “And for me, that’s what it’s all about. So I’m very proud of what we do.”

VOS Youth Choir and VOCES8 posing at the end of the night 
Photo courtesy of Voices Of Singapore

For those who would like to support the future of choral music, Voices of Singapore is opening up fundraising efforts for their beneficiaries on their website under their Support-a-Singer Fund

Itching to experience something similar? Voices of Singapore Festival 2024, the annual festival’s ninth instalment, returns to CHIJMES Hall, from 2–5 September 2024. Choirs with singers of all ages will unite under the same roof, and are sure to leave audiences with a memorable experience!

Click below for our full video:


VOCES8 is back in town five years after their Singapore debut for their highly-anticipated concert! With guest appearances by Voices of Singapore, it truly made for a blissful night of intergenerational harmony. Join The UrbanWire as we explore the connection of choral enthusiasts from all walks of life! 🎼 #voces8 #choir #singapore #fypsingapore

♬ Chopin Nocturne No. 2 Piano Mono – moshimo sound design