Soka Gakkai Singapore (SGS), formerly known as the Singapore Soka Association (SSA), promotes and supports arts events and cultural activities with the objective to foster members’ potential and to contribute to the community.
Currently, more than 500 members are actively involved in the 13 choral, movement and musical groups. These groups showcase their performances at various in-house and community events.
In the early 1980s, the Young Men Division Choir and Young Women Division Choir were formed as platforms for youth who shared a passion for singing to come together to hone their skills. After the Youth Peace Culture Festival in 1985, the Youth Choir was formed and it eventually evolved into a Four Division Choir in 1991 and was later renamed as Soka Chorus 2 years later.
Today, besides performing at SGS events, the Soka Chorus also participates actively in community events and collaborates with other choirs for mutual exchanges and sharing the joy of singing.
The Rhythm of Peace, formed in 1990, is SGS’s Men Division (MD) Choir that seeks to spread the message of peace through its choral performances.
Comprising MD members in their prime with a strong passion for singing, the group has performed at various SGS events and community functions including bringing cheer to residents at the Pelangi Home in 2003, ‘Voices of Spring – A Chinese New Year Songs Singing Festival’ from 2005 to 2009, and spreading festive joy to patients at the annual SGH Culture Night since 2016.
The Tulip Chorus, comprising members from the SGS Women Division (WD), was formed on November 10, 1995. In addition to sharing a common passion for singing, members seek to contribute towards spreading joy through their performances.
Over the years, the Tulip Chorus has participated in many SGS events and supported various community engagements, including the “Voices of Spring – A Chinese New Year Songs Singing Festival” held from 2005 to 2009.
The Soka Junior Choir was formed in 1993 to provide an opportunity for members as young as nine years old and who love to sing, to realise their potential and spread the joy of music. Over the years, these young children grew their passion for singing through the SJC platforms such as performances at both the organisation’s meetings as well as at public events.
Some of their significant achievements include being awarded the consolation prize in “Sing Singapore 98”, and being invited to perform alongside the Singapore Chinese Orchestra at the Victoria Concert Hall in 2001. Their hope-filled and cheerful singing never fails to put a smile on the faces of all who watch their performances.
The SGS Golden Lion Dance Troupe was formed in 1979 by a group of Young Men Division (YMD) members who shared a keen interest in the art of Lion Dance. Over the years, the group gradually evolved to incorporate martial arts in their trainings and has also served as a groundswell for fostering capable YMDs for the organisation.
In recent years, the group has also been actively participating in the National Wushu Competition and represented SGS on numerous occasions for both National and community events performances.
Officially formed in 1985 with the motto “Making the Impossible Possible through Itai-Doshin (Unity)”, the Gym Core Group comprises of dedicated YMD members who strive to inspire others through their calisthenic performances.
Through the regular trainings of the Gym Core group, many batches of YMDs have forged strong bonds of unity through their shared struggles and are currently contributing actively at the forefront of the organisation.
The Soka Youth Dance Crew (SYDC), comprising members from the SGS Youth Division, was officially named on November 18, 2008.
Carrying the motto “Let’s create dances of Hope & Happiness for Humanity”, the group has represented SGS to perform at Y-Fest organized by the Esplanade, and several other public events. On December 22, 2013, SYDC also represented Singapore in presenting a dance at the 27th Southeast Asian Games 2013 Closing Ceremony in Myanmar.
In 1983, the SGS Modern Dance Group comprising of Young Women Division (YWD) members who share a passion for dance was formed with a handful of YWD members. It was later renamed as the Sunflower Dance Ensemble at the occasion of her 20th Anniversary on September 10, 2006.
Today, carrying the motto “Courage, Perseverance and Pure Faith”, the SDE aims to spread peace, hope and happiness through their dance, and has represented SGS on numerous occasions for performances.
SGS Peony Dance Group was formed on this day 12 years ago on August 8, 2009. Comprising Women Division members who strive to manifest their potential and contribute to the community through their dance performances, the group has participated in various external performances over the years, including the Chinatown Light Up and National Day Parade.
SGS’s Fife-and-Drum Corps (also known as the “Kotekitai”) was established on July 16, 1975 with the mission as “emissaries of peace”. It comprises a marching band and a baton twirlers dance group made up of Young Women Division members. In the 80s, the group performed regularly at Chingay Parades and the decentralised National Day Parades.
The band started with woodwind instruments with brass instruments introduced in late 2004. Prior to Covid-19, the Group held weekly trainings to hone their technical skills and deepen their study of Buddhist faith together. Besides performing at SGS events, the Fife-and-Drum Corps also held a Spring Concert series since 2001. In 2014, together with the Young Men Division Courageous Musicians, they put up a band performance in Act 4 of the National Day Parade held at Marina Bay.
The Young Men Division Brass Band was formed in 1986, with the motto “Peace through Music”, the group seeks to bring hope and joy to people through its music. On July 10, 1994, the band was renamed “Courageous Musicians” by President Ikeda, with the wish that its members will grow to become courageous individuals striving for the happiness of humanity. The guards group of the band was also established in the same year.
With the renewed sense of mission, the band has embarked on various public performances. In 2002, the band performed at the “1st Youthopia” organised by the National Youth Council. The group has also been representing SGS on numerous occasions for both National and community events performances.
In 1970s, a handful of SGS members came together based on their shared interest for Chinese music and formed the Chinese Orchestra. Subsequently, the group grew and they began to hold weekly practices, honing their music skills while deepening their Buddhist study at the former Telok Blangah Soka Centre. In 1991, the group was officially named the SGS Rainbow Chinese Orchestra (RCO).
Over the years, the RCO comprising members of the four divisions, has participated actively in performances with like-minded groups to promote Chinese music. It held her maiden concert at the Soka Culture Centre in 1998; and on June 28, 2014, the orchestra participated in “Our People, Our Music 2014” event organised by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra at the then newly completed National Stadium alongside some 3,345 performers.
The Soka New Century Orchestra (SNCO), a name given by President Daisaku Ikeda on May 3, 2006, was officially formed with the objective of spreading hope and joy to all people through music. Since the early 90s, the group has held a series of concerts titled “Symphony of Joy”, joint concerts with other local bands, and collaborated with several guest conductors on a number of workshops. One of the significant achievements by the group was when they won the Gold Award in the Harmony Band 3rd Division at the “14th World Music Contest 2001” held in Kerkrade, Netherlands.