Meet The Team

DAMIEN LIM YONG SENG

Founder, Music & Executive Director
DipABRSM, ATCL, LGSMD (PPD), LRSM, FRSA

Born into a family of musicians, Baba Damien received his early music training under the instruction of his late-Bandmaster Dad, Nicholas Lim & was a member of the Singapore Schools Percussion Band & HeartBeat Percussion Band under Syed Ibrahim BHM. He studied the electone organ with Maria Goh & Ronnie Tan, orchestral percussion with Lim Meng Keh, composition with John Howard (UK) & Eugene Dairianathan, handbells with Emily Li (HK) & Kevin Ko (HK) & conducting with John Hooper (Canada).

Upon leaving Montfort Secondary School in 1993, Damien auditioned to be a member of the Singapore Youth Orchestra from 1994 – 1999 & appointed Principal Percussionist in 1998. He also free-lanced for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Pops Orchestra & Singapore Chinese Orchestra and was a timpanist/percussionist with theatre musicals like ‘Chang & Eng’, ‘Beauty World’, ‘Fried Rice Paradise’, ‘ The Magic Box’, ‘ The Wizard of Oz’ & ‘Forbidden City’… He also conducted the band for musicals such as: Bibiks Go Broadway, Baba Nyonya Mari-Go-Round & Siapa Baba. Damien was Principal Timpanist / Percussionist with the Singapore Armed Forces Central Band from 1996 – 2002, a member of the World Youth Wind Orchestra in Austria in 2000 & the Deputy Conductor of the award-winning HeartBeat Percussion Band (Singapore) from 1998 – 2001. Damien also performs for pop concerts, accompanying local stars like Kit Chan, Dick Lee, Olivia Ong & Taufik Batisah.

Damien is presently conductor & advisor to 12 Primary & Secondary Schools Handbell Ensembles. His handbell teams, to-date, have achieved 10 SYF Distinctions, 9 Golds & 3 Gold with Honours awards for both Primary & Secondary School levels. Damien is also the Founding Festival Director of the SingBellz Fest, Singapore’s Handbells Festival, Music Director for the Handbells Asia Festival 2010 in Melaka, Malaysia, as well as Music Consultant of the 1st Asia International Handbell Festival. Damien was introduced to handbell ringing by Cecilia Lim & Chris Fong. Damien was invited to conduct workshops & exchanges in UK, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand & Indonesia and actively adjudicates handbell & percussion/drum competitions both locally & regionally. In 2011, he was appointed Music Examiner with a Music Examinations Board. In 2012, he assumed the appointment of Executive Director to the Handbell Ringers of Singapore Society (HRSG) & in 2014, he was conferred a “fellowship” with the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts (UK).

In 2007, Damien funded & founded the award-winning Ministry of Bellz (MOB), which was awarded the Gold with Honours at the Hong Kong International Handbell Olympics 2013. For his contributions to the local arts scene, he was nominated for the Singapore Youth Awards 2007, NAC Young Artist Award 2007 & 2011 & Spirit of Enterprise Award 2009. Damien is a recipient of the “Friend of the Arts Award” in 2012 & again in 2014 by the National Arts Council as well as the “Exhibition Award” by the Trinity College of Music (UK) in 2005.

A well-travelled musician, Damien has performed, taught & conducted in no less than 25 countries, including UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Egypt, Turkey, France, USA, Brunei, Ireland, Austria.

Baba Damien, a 4th generation Peranakan-Teochew, is a follower of Christ.

He enjoys sharing his music with the young and lives by his motto:

“To Educate, To Share, To Inspire”.

Cai Ximin, Leader / Young Associate Conductor

Cai Ximin, a graduate from Temasek Junior College (TJC) Music Elective Program & the Integrated Program, is currently an undergraduate at the Singapore Management University, pursuing a degree in Information Systems Management and Sociology.

As head librarian of the Ministry of Bellz, she performed with the MOB @ Kuala Lumpur (2009) & Melaka (2010). In June 2010, she achieved the Level 5 with Merit in Handbell Performance, certified by the London College of Music. She was also the Assistant Stage Manager at the Asia Handbell Festival in Melaka (Malaysia). Ximin was handbell director at Yu Neng Primary School as well as associate director with 2 SYF Gold Teams.  She is an instructor under the Ministry of Education (Singapore) Arts and Music Instructor Scheme.

In 2012, she was appointed to be Secretary of the Handbell Ringers of Singapore. She will be attending the symposium in Korea in August this year to represent the Singapore contingency. In 2013, she was also appointed to be the Young Associate Conductor of the MOB. She is proud to have conducted her first mass ringing ensemble at the event, Afternoon with the Bellz V. The mass ringing ensemble is also recognized to be the Singapore Book of Records Largest Handbell Ensemble.

Currently, she is a handbell director at Geylang Methodist School (Primary). She has led the ensemble to their first Silver award at the Singapore Youth Festival in April 2012.

Under the guidance of Mr Tan Kian Wee, she has achieved her grade 8 certificate in organ by the Trinity College of Music. She has also performed in numerous demonstrations on the Yamaha electone EL-900 at various locations in Singapore. In the musical theatre, she performed in Siapa Baba – A Peranakan Wayang, as a bass keyboardist.

As an aspiring musician, she is now pursuing the teacher-level education at Yamaha Music and also the  AMusTCL Diploma in Music Theory.

Rachel Ng, Assistant Leader

Rachel Ng joined the MOB in 2011 & assumed the role of MOB Assistant Leader in 2013. She currently heads the team’s “LEND-a-HANDbellz” charity arm.

Rachel graduated from Cedar Girls’ Secondary School and Hwa Chong Institution (College), and is presently a Psychology major in the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

In January 2014, Rachel joined the CHIJ Katong (Primary), Guangyang Primary School and Woodlands Primary School CCA Handbell Teams as Assistant Instructor. The teams all attained the Certificate of Distinction at the SYF 2014. She is also a registered instructor under the MOE-AMIS Scheme.

During her time in Cedar Girls’ Secondary School, Rachel served in the Handbell Ensemble as its Secretary (2009-10) and President (2010-11). As a ringer, she participated in the SYF 2009 under the baton of Mrs Angela Aw. The team was awarded the SYF Silver Award. She later led the team to the SYF 2011 & achieved the Gold (with Honours) award. That year, she trained under the directions of Dr Christopher Fong, Ms Helimmi A.I. and Mr Damien Lim. She also initiated the Community Involvement Project for the school team.

Rachel also serves in church as a worship leader and pianist. She currently holds the ABRSM Grade 5 Piano and Theory of Music Certification. She will be taking her LCM Handbell Certification in August 2014 with the MOB.

Rachel hopes to bring the joy of ringing and the delight of appreciating handbell music to the community around her, especially to the less fortunate.

Principal Guest Conductor: Ms Emily Li (Hong Kong)


Our Advisors

 

Baba (Dr) Christopher Fong (Singapore)                               Mr Tama Goh (Singapore)

Baba Richard Tan S G (Singapore)                                        Dr John Hooper (Canada)

  

New / Returning Appointment Holders

Founder / Music & Executive Director: DAMIEN LIM

Team Leader / Young Associate Conductor: CAI XIMIN

Asst-Team Leader: RACHEL NG

Our Ringers (from June 2013)