The Hong Kong Women’s Choir was founded in the summer of 1997. Our first Music Director, Roberta Yule Owen, together with the Choir’s first accompanist, Wendy Nesbitt, immediately set the high standards to which we still adhere and raised the Choir’s performance to a professional level, bringing a broad range of styles and music from all over the world. For the first time ever NOVA, the brand name of the Hong Kong Women’s Choir, incorporated instrumental accompaniment, from flute to harp, to enhance our performance repertoire. Under Roberta, the Choir performed Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols to harp accompaniment.
Within NOVA, a smaller A-Cappella group, the Grace Notes, was formed, with the flexibility to perform at smaller or more private venues, where instrumental and piano accompaniment is not available. The Grace Notes sing in a variety of ensemble arrangements – solos, duets, trios,quartets and more – at any event, from charity balls to shopping malls.
NOVA continued to flourish under our next Music Director, the ebullient Nancy Madrid, and our next accompanist, Tricia Krieger. By then the Choir was branching out still further into more styles of music, from jazz to spirituals, exploring further cooperation with instrumentalists, such as hand bell choirs and bongo rhythm, culminating in performances in May and December each year. Nancy also held workshops with visiting Music Director, Colin Touchin of Warwick University.
NOVA and Grace Notes now perform regularly at such venues as Government House, Union Church, St. John’s Cathedral, Cultural Centre, The Landmark and in schools all over Hong Kong, bringing choral arrangements for women’s voices to Hong Kong audiences: Our current Music Director, Ronald Lam Ho Chi, is a graduate of the Academy of Performing Arts in Hong Kong, and a brave man for taking on so many women singers!