I was working at the Singapore Teachers’ Academy for the aRts in 2014, and my boss, the legendary Mrs Rebecca Chew, tasked me to get together a group of music teachers to put up a performance at the annual MOE Workplan Seminar, where all the top brass of the Ministry meet to chart the course of Singapore Education for the next year.
She didn’t specifically say we had to do an original song, but I felt that it was important to present a song that really embodied the ethos of education, and there was no better way than to compose an original.
We had the benefit of working with an amazing group of Music Educators, all on different stages of their education career. In the mix was my own Senior High music teacher, the lady who inspired me to pursue a higher education in Music and to take up a career in Music Education.
There was only a short runway of time to prepare, and I remember on more than one occasion wanting to tear my hair out working out some parts of the song. Thank God for timely help and encouragement from different members of the group. Everybody chipped in to help in their own way. In the end, I couldn’t have been more prouder at the result!
This is your story,
A canvas to be painted with colours galore
Filling each space with your blue skies and rainbows
There’s a great big world for you to explore
You will be a shining light
No matter where you are you’ll illuminate the way
A ray of hope in the dark of night
You’re a diamond in the making One day you will shine
This is my mission,
To help you find the courage to walk through each new door
Open your minds to endless wonder
Let your imaginations rise, spread its wings and soar
I may not have all the answers,
but together we’ll ask the questions
I do not know what’s in the future,
but I know that in the present I have in my hands
A little dreamer preparing to take flight.
– composed by Lennie Chua, Rachel Ee, Dorothy Seng
I always found writing lyrics extremely tough, and I was glad to work with my good buddy and expert lyricist Rachel Ee who came up with some really awesome lyrics. I only made some slight tweaks in the chorus and the bridge. It was also wonderful to have Dorothy as a sounding board, she helped me get the composition over the line.
The instrumentalists and musicians we had were awesome. Even though it was hard to get a time to practice where everyone could make it. The sessions we had practicing and jamming were so awesome, such a precious time of musical fun and fellowship. There was a real sense of kindred spirit, that we were brothers and sisters of a feather, taking flight with a common purpose, a united voice.
The performance of the song in 2014 will be one of the proudest moments of my life, not because my song was being performed, but because of the special friendships that were sealed through the performance of the song that day. What a beautiful memory this is!
A SUPER BIG THANK YOU TO OUR AWESOME SHINING LIGHTS. I miss you all dearly! 🙂
I’m also glad to have had the opportunity to reprise the song on a number of occasions. The performance below was at a MOE Music Teaching scholarship talk. I had the chance to sing the song with Dorothy and featuring some surprise guest artistes!
- Shining Light (MOE Workplan 2014 Theme Song)
- Hand in Hand (MOE Workplan 2015 Theme Song)
- 2019 Thailand Fly & Drive (Bangkok, Khao Kho, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Khan, Khon Kaen, Khao Yai, Pattaya)
- 2019 Cameron Highlands Brothers Drive
- 2018 Bali Drive
- 2017 Hungary Winter Drive
- 2017 Hokkaido Winter Drive
- 2019 Drive from Singapore to Thailand (Krabi, Phuket)
- 2018 Drive from Singapore to Thailand (Bangkok, Rayong)
- 2017 Drive from Singapore to Thailand (Krabi, Phuket)
- 2016 Drive from Singapore to Thailand