Cherly’s Blog

Asia Pacific Youth Choir

(I put this as a draft for a long long time, almost a year!)

I was selected as one of Indonesian delegates for Asia Pacific Youth Choir 2019. We have 10 delegates from Indonesia, half of them are the friends I know before this event: Erma, Katya, Inggrid, Lucky, and Jason. APYC 2019 became the ambassador of Asia Pacific Choral Summit 2019 in Hong Kong, which organized by Hong Kong’s Children’s Choir. Before we performed in Hong Kong, we performed i Macao for The International Youth Music Festival: The Belt and Road – Music Throughout Macao, organized by DSEJ and Art Macao.

I learned a lot from the wonderful yet humble conductor, Vivian Ip, and from other singers from 9 different countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, New Zealand, China, Japan and Philippines. It was an extraordinary experience where I learned so many lessons from every single person I met there, not only the singers but also the conductors and all the organizers. We performed various pieces from different country conducted by a great yet humble conductor, Ms. Vivian Ip.

I was honoured to be selected as one of the soloist for The Time Has Come by Erik Esenvalds, a beautiful piece written with the text from Nelson Mandela’s speech. I honestly never thought of being soloist in such an event, seeing myself as a non-soloist material, but it was a fun experience indeed, especially when we rehearse and perform with different conductors for the conducting competition.

A wonderful experience and beautiful friendship. Thank you!

Check out the highlights of the event here:

Cahaya Purnama

The idea of this piece came after my devotion to the moon. I always feel that the moon gives us a sense of intimacy, thus it brings hope to those who need it. This piece won the 2nd prize in secular music category in choral composition competition on Satya Dharma Gita National Choir Festival 2017.

This version was recorded at GPIB Sangkakala at February 16, 2019. I am so honoured to have Paramabira and Quaver Vocal Ensemble collaborating under the direction of Rainier Revireino.


Gelap malam t’lah menyapa bertahta cah’ya sang purnama
Memupus kerinduan jiwa pada terang
Sang purnama bercahaya dan memukau para insan
Tak rela bila dia digantikan mentari fajar
Dan bintang menari, memuja rembulan yang bersinar terang
Sang purnama t’lah merasuk hayat dengan rasa cinta
Bintang-bintang berkelip di angkasa
menyerukan pujian untuk sang purnama
Sang purnama merajut asa, memadu kasih, menggugah jiwa
Sang purnama ciptakan asa
Cahaya purnama,
Cahayanya penuh cinta
menyalakan pengarapanku.

Jakarta, June 27th, 2017 (revised on October 2nd, 2017)

A Day Full of Love

Today, on the 14th of February, a lot of people around the world celebrate Valentine’s day. For me, it used to be a day when people send cards, flowers, chocolates, or maybe gifts. But now I am a grown-up, I learned that even though love should not only shown on a particular day, but it is still important to express our love towards others. And today, I saw so many love spread around my social media feeds, which makes me think, I might need to spread some love too!

Last month I had my very first vocal recital done. I have reached my checkpoint, of course with all the good and not-so-good things happened, and I surely earned new knowledge by both kind of experiences.

This is one of my favourite love song me and my friend Nesca have performed on the recital, composed by Robert Schumann (1810-1856) based on the text written by Adelbert von Chamisso (1781-1838). The English translation below is provided by Daniel Platt.

Du Ring an meinem Finger,
  Mein goldnes Ringelein,
Ich drücke dich fromm an die Lippen,
  Dich fromm an das Herze mein.

Ich hatt' ihn ausgeträumet,
  Der Kindheit friedlich schönen Traum,
Ich fand allein mich, verloren
  Im öden, unendlichen Raum.

Du Ring an meinem Finger,
  Da hast du mich erst belehrt,
Hast meinem Blick erschlossen
  Des Lebens unendlichen, tiefen Wert.

Ich will ihm dienen, ihm leben,
  Ihm angehören ganz,
Hin selber mich geben und finden
  Verklärt mich in seinem Glanz.

Du Ring an meinem Finger,
  Mein goldnes Ringelein,
Ich drücke dich fromm an die Lippen,
  Dich fromm an das Herze mein.
Thou ring on my finger, 
my little golden ring, 
I press thee piously upon my lips 
piously upon my heart. 

I had dreamt it, 
the tranquil, lovely dream of childhood, 
I found myself alone and lost 
in barren, infinite space. 

Thou ring on my finger, 
thou hast taught me for the first time, 
hast opened my gaze unto 
the endless, deep value of life. 

I want to serve him, live for him, 
belong to him entire, 
Give myself and find myself 
transfigured in his radiance. 

Thou ring on my finger, 
my little golden ring, 
I press thee piously upon lips, 
piously upon my heart.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Aku Ada

Aku Ada, a song by Dewi Lestari featuring Arina. A good friend of mine, Fany, requested me to arrange this song for her as a remembrance to her beloved soulmate, Rian (1992-2017). We worked together to make this arrangement, and finally Quaver Vocal Ensemble has the chance to record this arrangement. Thank you to Cosmas for making the beautiful cover with calligraphy!

Rest in peace, Rian. We know that you are here for us.

Melukiskanmu saat senja
Memanggil namamu ke ujung dunia
Tiada yang lebih pilu
Tiada yang menjawabku selain hatiku
Dan ombak berderu

Di pantai ini kau slalu sendiri
Tak ada jejakku di sisimu
Namun saat ku tiba
Suaraku memanggilmu akulah lautan
Ke mana kau s’lalu pulang

Jingga di bahuku
Malam di depanku
Dan bulan siaga sinari langkahku
Ku terus berjalan
Ku terus melangkah
Kuingin kutahu engkau ada

Memandangimu saat senja
Berjalan di batas dua dunia
Tiada yang lebih indah
Tiada yang lebih rindu
Selain hatiku
Andai engkau tahu

Di pantai itu kau tampak sendiri
Tak ada jejakku di sisimu
Namun saat kau rasa
Pasir yang kau pijak pergi akulah lautan
Memeluk pantaimu erat

Jingga di bahumu
Malam di depanmu
Dan bulan siaga sinari langkahmu
Teruslah berjalan
Teruslah melangkah
Ku tahu kau tahu aku ada

It’s (Almost) Christmas!

It’s almost Christmas!

Early in October, Quaver was approached to join an online vocal group competition held by Mal Ciputra Jakarta. We decided to give a try, and Edo asked me to arrange a Christmas medley for this event, so I excitedly did. I made a simple a cappella arrangement, starting with a slow but sweet Merry Christmas, Darling by Carpenters, and then changing the mood with James Pierpont’s Jingle Bells continued with Johnny Marks’ Rudolph The Rednosed Reindeer and Sammy Cahn’s Let It Snow, and then finally back to Merry Christmas, Darling to end the song.

Yesterday I randomly asked if anyone on my Instagram is interested in having this arrangement for free, and there are plenty of people said yes. So I decided to share it here, feel free to use it under this condition:

You may copy and perform this piece, but please let me know if you do and send me the recording(s) of your performance, so I can listen to your version of this arrangement.

You can download the file here. I hope you enjoy!

Prayer of St. Francis

On December 2nd, 2018, Feixiang Choir held a charity concert, titled “A Thankful Gift”. It was our plan since forever to have a concert to help others, and this year, we finally made it.

The theme of this concert, A Thankful Gift, was initiated from the Prayer of St. Francis, also known as Peace Prayer, in which said, “For it is in giving that we receive, and it is in pardoning that we are pardoned.” We believe that each time we give, we receive even more. We also believe that our whole lives we have received so much, and we are thankful for everything happened in our lives.

The text itself was not written by Saint Francis of Assisi (c. 1182-1226), as this prayer in its present form has not been traced back further than 1912. Its first known occurrence was in French, written in a magazine published by a Catholic church organisation without mentioning the author’s name. We found this beautiful piece written by Allen Pote based on the said text, and then decided to have this song performed on the concert. This video was recorded by Feixiang Choir on the concert.

Cherly Susanti, conductor
Prajna Indrawati, piano
Dheonardo, tenor solo
Wisnu Murti Sri Budiarto, sign language interpreter

Prayer of Saint Francis (as written in Allen Pote’s setting)

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, Thy pardon, Lord.
Where there is doubt, let there be faith.

O, Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let there be light.
Where there is sadness, let there be joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that we receive,
and it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Daemon Irrepit Callidus

I wrote this piece in 2015 during the Ramadhan month. I remember that I was riding my motorbike while suddenly the idea popped out on my mind. Started with the rhythmic effect created by the basses, and then adding tenors in syncopation, afterwards the sopranos and altos creates a legato melody line in minor scale. This piece is written for SATB divisi without accompaniment. This recording was done live by Feixiang Choir in 2017 for The 10th Orientale Concentus Singapore.

O Ina Ni Keke

O Ina Ni Keke is a North Sulawesi traditional song written by R. C. Hardjosubroto. This song’s literal meaning was about a mother (“Ina” means mother) who went to Manado city to buy some cakes, but her daughter (“Keke” means daughter) asked for the cakes when it has already finished. Many interprets this song as an unconditional love from a mother to her daughter, but the daughter was too late to realise it.

I wrote this setting for SSAA unaccompanied. I imagined myself in an empty beach, having a nostalgic feeling of what had happened in my childhood. This arrangement should be performed with much expression, but it should sounds light and warm with less vibrato at the same time.

I hope you enjoy.