The new village school at Su Hta

Throughout the years of military dictatorship, Myanmar has long suffered from civil war and economic and political isolation from the international community. It was only until recently that the country embarked on a process of gradual liberalisation, taking a giant step away from the shadow of oppression and enabling numerous displaced villagers to rebuild their livelihood.

Su Hta is one such village, located 3.5 hours to the west of Taungoo (including 2.5 hours of trailer ride). Access is difficult, although the villagers are creating motorcycle paths to nearby villages.

The Su Hta Village School was donated by three doctor friends of the Learners Chorus as a result of fundraising activity from the Mozart Great Mass in C minor concert on September 16, 2016, and will allow children to stay at home whilst still getting education.  The new school building is open-plan to maximize flexibility and to limit construction costs. Simple partitions are used to split the hall into smaller teaching areas and the many windows provide ample sunlight, minimizing any need for electricity, which is difficult to come by at these remote, off-grid locations.

Our vice-chairman performing a simple opening ceremony with a local representative.

Winnie Wong of the Hong Kong Christian Council unlocking the doors of the school.

Students and villagers came to attend the opening ceremony. Some walked from surrounding villages and everybody had their best outfit on.

The teachers of the Su Hta Village School.

With the new school came new toilets. Very simple construction, but this is sanitary with running water pulled by gravity.

Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor

It is said that Mozart promised to compose a mass when he would bring Constanze Weber as his wife to Salzburg. The marriage took place in 1782 without the blessing of his father, and in a letter to his father the following year, Mozart expressed regret of the delay in his planned visit with Constanze to Salzburg, but that “the score of half of a Mass, which still lies here, is the best proof of my vow.” Such “half of a Mass” refers to his Mass in C Minor, which, notwithstanding that it remained unfinished, is considered to be Mozart’s most ambitious composition amongst his masses.

Come hear us perform, among other works, Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor at our September concert this Friday. Tickets now available at URBTIX outlets or online at

Event page:

Barber’s Agnus Dei

Since the formation of the Friends of Learners Orchestra in 2007 (now called The Learners Orchestra) we have been blessed to have a group of caring and benevolent orchestral musicians partner with us at concerts both great and small; but what if the composer, by arranging an orchestral work for unaccompanied chorus, requires that the choir becomes an orchestra itself?

Come hear The Learners Chorus transform into an orchestra of human voices in its performance this Friday of, among other works, (1) Samuel Barber’s “Agnus Dei”, a choral arrangement of his famous “Adagio for Strings”, and (2) “Lux Aeterna” arranged by British composer and arranger John Cameron based on Variation IX “Nimrod” of Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations”. Tickets now available at URBTIX outlets or online at

Tavener’s The Lamb

Coughing at concerts is often considered as a distracting annoyance, but what if the noise originated from the composer himself?

John Tavener’s “The Lamb” was written in 1982 as a dedication to his nephew for his 3rd birthday. However, when the carol was performed in the same year at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (an annual Christian service which celebrates the birth of Jesus), Tavener was more anxious that Mother Thekla, a counsellor and spiritual advisor of his, would be able to hear his work. As a result, whilst sitting in the audience at King’s College, Cambridge, he gave a loud cough shortly before his work was about to commence, so that Mother Thekla, who borrowed a radio to listen to the BBC live broadcast from the convent, would take the signal and recognise his work.

Come hear us perform Tavener’s “The Lamb”, among other works, in our September concert. Tickets now available at URBTIX outlets or online at

Event page: