Two From Galilee


Show Information

Two From Galilee, was a musical drama in Broadway fashion with a running time of 90 minutes over two acts. The production involved a cast of 10 principals and sub-principals and supporting cast and chorus of 14 and requiring 60 costumes and a production crew of 25. The production was indeed the most ambitious staged then and was held as a benefit concert for Malaysian CARE on the evenings of Sat 30 November 2002 and Sun 1 December 2002 at The First Baptist Church, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

The musical was very well received by the public and enjoyed excellent press and media coverage including The Star, The Malay Mail, The New Straits Times, The Sun,,, Star Metro online, Radio 4 and Red 104.9 FM. Playing to a packed house on both evenings, the production generated net proceeds in excess of RM100,000 for Malaysian CARE. Celebrated Director and Playwright Chin San Sooi was the Artistic Director for the musical and he added a professional dimension to the overall production.




Program Notes





We are honored by the performance of Two From Galilee by The Canticle Singers.  It is a privilege to have our work brought to your community so far away from our own by these talented and committed performers.   And we are pleased to know that the proceeds  from the performances go to benefit such a worthy cause as Malaysian CARE.

Two From Galilee, is, at first glance, the love story  of Mary and Joseph. Flying in the face of tradition,  two people  in love fight for their one true love…. all they ever wanted.  But if that were the point, the story would be over
halfway through Act 1 when  the two are  betrothed, fulfilling their
hopes and  dreams.  This is a sweet story and an inspiring one,
but not the real story – not the whole story.

The Advent is not just about love, or tradition, angels, shepherds
or kings  though all of these  play a part.  It’s not about finding true
love, but about discovering God’s will.  The Advent is the story of the
God who intervened in human history and came  to us to reveal His purpose
and accomplish His will: His own incarnation- the birth of our Saviour, Jesus.

Now, that’s a story!

We are deeply indebted to Marjorie Holmes for bringing these
real-life characters into our hearts through her best selling book
“Two From Galilee,” and for allowing us to adapt it for the stage.

We hope that Two From Galilee shines a new light
on the timeless story of Christmas, and we pray that the light of
Jesus Christ may shine anew in the hearts and souls of those who see
and hear this wonderful production.

It is, ultimately, our story -  and yours. For all of us,  like Joseph and Mary and the others,  have hopes, dreams  and plans for our lives.  Then God speaks to
us, revealing His  own plans,  His will – and we must choose. That is
the story of man,  who from the very  beginning has been weighing
the choice between what he wants and what God wants.

We pray that, through this story of Two From Galilee,
we will come to know that all we ever wanted is found in Him

May God bless you all.

Robert Sterling & Karla Worley
The Composers
Franklin, TN,
`The United States of America






It has been a marvellous experience to find “Two From Galilee” in performance throughout the world.  When the musical's authors, Robert Sterling and Karla Worley approached me about directing the premier performance of this work, I was excited by the prospect of creating this moving story on the stage.  These early thoughts proved to be only a small portion of the blessings received over these past five years.

“Two From Galilee” is truly a blessed work, not only because of its scriptural basis, but also because of its everlasting themes of love and joy. . .love between husband and wife, parents and child, Christ and the world. 

This is not an easy work to produce.  It requires excellent singers and other musicians, complex sets and lighting, above average time commitments and a hall large enough to house its requirements.  Although I cannot be with you for the actual production, I am most eager to understand your interpretation of these events so precious to our Christian heritage.

May the Lord bless the cast and crew, the directors, the audience, and all of you in your continued ministry for our beloved and awesome God.


Dr. Mozelle Clark Sherman
Premier Producing Director "Two From Galilee"
Founding Director Emeritus
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Church Music Drama Theatre
Louisville, Kentucky
The United States of America




The prospect of handling an untested cast in acting is always exciting.  It gives me the opportunity to lovingly “bully” the performers.  Hopefully their spirits have not been broken but challenged and quickened.

When HK asked me to direct “Two From Galilee”, to be presented by The Canticle Singers, I did not hesitate to agree especially when it was to raise funds for a charitable organisation, Malaysian Christian Association for Relief (CARE) which is committed to serving the poor and needy in Malaysia, irrespective of race or religion.  Also, HK and I go a long way back to the days of the Anglo Chinese Secondary School, Ipoh, Perak where he was first introduced to the musical stage by playing the role of one of the princes in “The King and I” in 1967 and later graduated to being the accompanist at the piano for a number of other musicals.  It is wonderful to know that HK is deeply involved in music and serving the Lord not only through it.

It is a privilege and a humbling experience to know that one has been chosen to direct a play with a group of people who try to give their best for a worthy course and who are keen to face the realities of a theatrical performance.  HK   whispers to me that they were all probably not fully aware of “the realities” involved.

It is delightful to see them slowly but gradually responding to the regime of the demands of a stage performance.  Some of them respond very fast, some a little slower, all steadily as people would respond in like manner in other situations of life.

I have learnt much from the members of the cast.  Sometimes we tend to think that our world is all important and all embracing.  The Canticle Singers touch people through their embracement of a wholesome life.

They have allowed me to meet them in their capacity as committed professionals, husband and wife and yet giving of their time to come together to sing praises to the Lord, spread His message and work for a worthy cause.  Many more willing hands backstage have given yeoman services to realise this musical drama.  My thanks to their quiet and steady support.

As you enjoy their performance this evening, do reach out and touch the life-giving aura of their being.

My thanks to their unassuming mission in their work.

Chin San Sooi




It was in 1997 that we were first exposed to the music from “Two From Galilee”.  The music itself was captivating and the drama component was challenging.  We were however already in the middle of another major production and thus the timing somehow was not right.

As we entered our tenth year, we had thought of embarking on something else rather than the usual fare of musical arrangements with narrative sequences. “Two From Galilee” was just waiting in the wings but it now it seemed rather formidable in terms of its demands on the singers as well as dramatic resources. Nevertheless we ventured forth.

Superficially the musical seemed to offer the tableau of a love story set against biblical times with shepherds, the Magi, angels, etc woven into the tapestry.  On closer inspection however it revealed precious lessons on discovering God’s will while struggling with our own desires and plans. There were valuable gems for us to gather upon embarking on this particular production.  Right from the outset we faced hurdles ranging from the availability of background production materials (for which we are grateful to Dr Mozelle Clark Sherman of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kentucky; premier producer and production writer of  “Two From Galilee”,  for her assistance and advice) and a host of other obstacles many of which were beyond our control. At times it really seemed an impossible and uphill task of just getting things together with only a few committed people and resources, we prayed on and there were times that we wondered whether this project was actually within His will. There was a period of uncertainty and then through an unexpected sequence of  events, we saw each and every one of these major obstacles overturned revealing a clear path ahead. 

As Jacob in “Two From Galilee” utters repeatedly, “ If God ordains it, surely He will make a way!”; we realise that this simple truth is more easily affirmed and sung than lived through.   We are still learning how to apply this truth in a real way in our daily lives. “Two From Galilee” is before you tonight as a testimony that He did make a way!

We are honoured and privileged to have distinguished veteran director and playwright Chin San Sooi to be working with us amateurs.  San Sooi is founder member of the Five Arts Centre as well an alumni of the School of Speech and Drama, London and has been involved in music and drama since the 1960s.  San Sooi, thank your for patience and for bearing with all of us.

The entire cast, production crew and support services of "Two From Galilee" are all volunteers who serve without remuneration. They have given of their time, talents, energy, and resources to make "Two From Galilee” a rewarding and inspirational experience for you. The labour of the singers and actors, sound and lighting engineers and crew, property and backstage crew, caterers, wardrobe department,  make-up artists,  etc; is a gift of love.

We wish to register our thanks to the Board of Directors and the Organising Committee of Malaysian CARE and the underwriters of “Two From Galilee”, corporate and individual  sponsors of The Canticle Singers, advertisers and service and material providers whose assistance and support have helped to make this production a reality.

Thank you for your presence here this evening and we hope that you may be able to take home some precious thoughts that take you beyond Galilee.

H K Chong


Scene 1
Deborah's home
Scene 2
The Village of Nazareth
Today in Galilee
Hannah & Company
You're Twenty One and Past
Timna & Jacob
What Are You Waiting For?
Timna, Jacob & Company
Scene 3
Later, at Joseph's workshop
Good Morning Joseph
Mary & Joseph
All I Ever Wanted
Mary & Joseph
Scene 4
That evening, outside Mary's house
Timna, Joseph & Jacob
A Match Made in Heaven
Hannah, Joachim, Jacob & Company
Scene 5
That night, inside Mary's house
Hannah, Joachim & Mary
Going Through the Motions Hannah & Joachim
Scene 6
Sometime later, outside Mary's house
The Lord Bless You - The Betrothal
Scene 7
That evening at Mary's house
Mary's Prayer /
Mary & Gabriel
Angel's Announcement
Scene 8
Several weeks later, at Mary's house
and Joseph's workshop
Finale: Act I
Hannah, Joachim, Mary & Joseph
All I Ever Wanted (Reprise)
Scene 1
A First Century Observatory in the Far East
Another Journey
Balthazar, Melchior & Kaspar
Another Journey (Reprise & Exit)
Scene 2
Nazareth, at Joseph's home
Joseph's Prayer
Angel's Announcement
Joseph & Gabriel
Scene 3
The Journey to Bethlehem
Journey to Bethlehem Parts I & II   
Hannah, Mary, Timna
Joseph, Joachim & Company
Scene 4
Bethlehem, outside the stable
Glory in Excelsis Deo /
Angels, Gabriel and the Company
The Lord Bless You (Reprise)
Transition Music
Scene 5
At the stable, some time later
Finale: Act II    
Mary, Joseph & Company
All I Ever Wanted (Reprise)




Inspirational writer of “Two From Galilee”, columnist dies at 91

by Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Marjorie Holmes, an inspirational writer who wrote more  than 30 books and had contributed columns to the old Washington Evening Star and Woman’s Day magazine, has died. She was 91.  Holmes died March 13, 2002 at a nursing home in Manassas, VA., after a series of strokes. She lived in Manassas.

Her column, “Love and Laughter,” ran twice-weekly in The Star from the1950s to 1975. Her monthly column, “A Woman’s Conversations with God,” appeared from 1970 to 1975. Over the years, she also had been a contributing editor to the Daily Guideposts publication and had seen her stories, essays and poems appear in such magazines as McCall’s, Readers’ Digest and the Ladies Home Journal.   She also had lectured extensively and had taught writing at the University of Maryland and at Georgetown and Catholic universities.

Holmes' 32 books had sold in the millions. She was the author of fictionalized trilogy on the life of Mary and Joseph, beginning with “Two From Galilee” published by Revell in 1972, and becoming that publisher’s biggest seller in more than 100 years. This book was followed by “Three From Galilee: The Young Man from Nazareth” in 1985 and concluding with “The Messiah” in 1987, both published by Harper & Row.

The books were immensely popular, with “Two From Galilee” being named one of the 10 best-selling novels of 1972 by The New York Times.

Holmes was a 1931 graduate of Cornell College in her native Iowa. She then farmed in Texas and worked in radio in Illinois and Ohio, where she worked in children’s programming and wrote scripts for fashion shows. In  1943, she published her first novel, “World By the Tail.” Of her next six books, five were books for teen-age girls.

In 1967, Doubleday published “Love and Laughter,” a book based on columns she had written. Then in 1969, her book “I’ve Got to Talk to Somebody God” a book of conversational prayers that became a best-seller. This was followed by three other collections of her prayerful conversations published by Doubleday in the 1970s.  The New York Times once commented that Holmes wrote “whole books of prayers that sell like sin.”

In 1979, her husband of 47 years, Lynn Mighell, died of cancer. The   following year, she published “God and Vitamins,” in which she told of her battle against her husband’s cancer  using vitamins and natural foods. In 1982, “To Help You Through the Hurting,” in which she wrote about handling grief, appeared.

In 1981, she moved to Pennsylvania when she married Dr. George Schmieler, who died in 1992. She then returned to the Washington area. They had met when Dr. Schmieler had called her to thank her for writing a book that had eased his pain following the death of his first wife.

Holmes' later books included “Second Wife, Second Life” published in 1993 and “Still By Your Side,” published in 1996.


Shirani Amarasingham
Deborah, Mary's cousin
Khu Gek Sim
Ruth, Deborah's mother
Phoon May Ping, Denise
Hannah, Mary's mother
Elvira Arul
Joachim, Mary's father
Thomas Ng
Leah, a village girl
May Ang
Tan Ooi Meng
Timna, Joseph's mother
Catherine Mah
Omar, an unlikely suitor for Mary
Wong Li Yit
Reb Levi, a rich man
Ernest Yeap Kian Fuj
Cleophas, his son, another suitor
Keuk Woei Jiann
Abner, another suitor
Edward Ling Sieak Meeng
Voice of Angel Gabriel
Geoffrey Woo
Danny Kum Choy Hong
Teh Chuan Seng
Chang Yow Keong
Patrick Yeoh Tay Jim
Lim Chee Weng
Voice of the Roman Centurion
Quek Wee Kee
Innkeeper's Wife
Ivy Chan
Fellow Traveller/Voice of the Angry Man
Lim Choo Leong
Attendants for the Betrothal Ceremony
Ernest Yeap Kian Fuj,
and for the Magi
Edward Ling Sieak Meeng,
Kuek Woei Jiann
Wong Li Yit
Villagers and shepherds Ivy Chan, Phoon May Ping Denise,
Vanessa Teoh, Esther Ang, May Ang,
Khu Gek Sim, Samantha Chan May San, 
Teh Chuan Seng, Patrick Yeoh Tay Jim,
Lim Chee Weng, Quek Wee Kee, Chang
Yow Keong, Danny Kum Choy Hong, Lim
Choo Leong


Artistic Director
Chin San Sooi
Music Director
H.K. Chong
Production Manager
Ivan Liew
Sound Engineer
Wong Wing Thim
assisted by
Kenneth Ooi, Tan Meng Guan,
Harris Cazaly, Luke Kiang
Lighting Design
Chin San Sooi
Lighting Engineer
Lim Ang Swee
assisted by
Eh Chee Wei
Chorus Mistress
Vanessa Teoh
Stage Manager
Angie Ng Sow Leng
assisted by
Song Wee Kiat, Kong Chee Sun,
Au Soong Ern, Wong Li Jian
Costume Design
Vivian Oh
Wardrobe Mistress
Genevieve Tsen Chan Nyim
assisted by
Susan Ho, Oi Suan Gaik, Ivy Wong
Make Up
Leslie Hong of Stella-In International
Beauty Centre & Therapy Academy
Hand Props Fabrication
Gena Leda Kaza, Lillian Tai, Vivian Oh
Front of House Manager
Pearlly Chua
Catherine Mah, Elvira Arul
Production Accountant
Patrick Ung
Production Executive
Samantha Chan May San
Set Concept & Design
Chin San Sooi & H.K. Chong
K.C. Liu
Catering Services
Oliver's Super Sandwiches
Strawberry Fileds Steakhouse
Oi Poh Choo & Friends (Coordinators)
Buds and Bees
H.K. Chong & Malaysian CARE
Back of House Security
Alvin Chow, Chow Choy Wen
Staff & Friends of Malaysian CARE






Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2002 12:28:29 +0800
From: Lee Chee Loi

Dear HK and Shirani

Thank you for the privilege of working together on this successful musical drama. We have been very blessed and appreciate very much the professionalism and hard work of your entire team under your leadership. Please extend our gratitude to all as we could not do so to each one individually. Our appreciation of course too to Shirani who introduced s to this opportunity and made all these possible.

I take this opportunity, on behalf of Malaysian CARE, to wish all of you a very blessed Christmas and a joyous New Year and thank all of you once again for your labour of love and a professional production that glorifies the Lord.

Yours in His Service
Chee Loi



For Heaven's Sake... Tue, Jan 28 2003 16:32:07

Such a great pity..that this spectacular effort of a musical wasn't staged at a larger venue like PJ Civic Centre to reach a larger audience that The Canticle Singers definitely deserved. Two performances wasn’t quite enough for all the hard work put into the production. All the lead voices carried power and great emotions required of the parts.

Such a pity too, to learn that the radio stations chicken out of promoting this show. Isn't this part of theatre and wholesome entertainment ?
Good luck to H K and his singers for future projects. This is the most professional effort I have ever watched performed at a church..

Posted by Teresa Wong This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the site.



Subject: Two in Galilee
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 14:29:27 +0800
From: "Wah Lok & Bessie"


Firstly my congratulations to you and your team for the outstanding performance on Two in Galilee. I have expected a good performance as Geoffrey told me it was good and I was not disappointed. Having seen musicals in London, Singapore and Malaysia, I was pleased to be able to compare this one with others professionally done in London. Notwithstanding the limitations in the hall and props, budget and a non professional team of singers, it was a very good performance worthy of high commendation. The appreciation of all the team with flowers was very good gesture. It means a lot to them since they have worked so hard for 6 month. Keep up all the good work.

Wah Lok
Tabernacle Music


Date: Mon, 2 Dec 2002 22:35:29 +0800
Frm: Neil Rode

Dear H K,

Thanks for the wonderful musical. I'm sure everyone was very blessed. A number of people were very much surprised with the very high quality performance and production. Please convey my thanks to the whole team. I did enjoy myself very much with the hosting work that was done, although it can be trying because some people can be fussy and nasty at the doors.

Thanks and God Bless



From: Tim Ooi
To: CMah
Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2002 3:13 PM
Subject: Re: Two from Galilee-post mortem

Dear Catherine,

Congratulations! I think it went rather well and was warmly received by everyone judging from the applause at the end of the evening. June said thank goodness that the music is easy to get into - like Disney's Beauty & The Beast (this one my comment). Boo-boos weren't too noticeable (most people didn't notice them anyway). Mary & Joseph had really nice parts to sing but I can imagine it must have been really taxing on them as the evening wore on. (The monologue prayers were difficult to sing and were stretching the principals.) Hannah made a meal of her role and did a good job too. Timna was a good counterpoint to Hannah and very nice singing too. All in all a good job done by everyone. Tan Sri sat across the aisle and was seen to be enjoying the performance.




Subject: Congratulations
Author: Leonard Chin
Date: 12/2/02 4:00 PM

Dear Shirani,

I enjoyed the show very much and was very impressed by the overall quality of professionalism and attention to detail in the singing and in the conveying of the message. You did marvellously, so give yourself a big pat on the back! (You know I'm not just saying that!) I felt that poor Joseph seemed to be having a hard time of it in Act 2, but all the same your duets came off well and there wasn't any trouble with speeds. I also especially liked your dramatic scene with the voice of Gabriel - well done for being able to kneel and sing at the same time!

I think one of the main things you can take away from this experience is the hands-on knowledge of what you are capable of. Certainly, I hope singing in church is something you may now want to do more regularly(? hee hee), and after 'Two from Galilee', you are now equipped with the realisation that you do indeed have the ability and the confidence to do the job. Could you please give me H K's email address so I can write and congratulate him personally?

It was lovely teaching you. Give me a ring whenever you need a quick crash-course or something! Have a happy Christmas and a good, safe New Year.

Best regards,



Date: Sun, 1 Dec 2002 20:52:31 -0800 (PST)
From: Ann Ramayah

Dear H K,

Thank you for inviting us to the musical. We enjoyed it very much. Unfortunately, we had another event called Christmas Party on the Park at the Amphitheatre to cover and could not stay for the entire performance. From what we did see, it is truly amazing to watch a Malaysian cast put on an international caliber performance.

Last but not least, how can we obtain photos of the musical as we were not allowed to take any on that day. Could you please let me know?

Thank you and God Bless,
Shoba Mano
Editor, Agape



Subject: Congratulations!
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 2002 11:25:57 +0800
From: Premita Sekaran

Dear H K,

Caught Two From Galilee last night. I did not have the time to stay and speak to you as my car was quite badly parked. IT WAS EXCELLENT! I thoroughly enjoyed it. The singing was very good and the soloists did very well. Elvira was a real show stealer as Mary's mum and Shirani did very well as Mary. But the find of the century must be MR TOM "JOSEPH" TAN. HE was brilliant!!!

Congratulations to all again! You really deserve it for all your hard work.




Subject: Bravo to everyone in 2 From Galilee musical production!
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 2002 12:12:08 +0800
From: "~David Yap~"

Good morning HK,

I must say the show just now was great! I can still hear the melody of the songs being played in my heart and I am truly glad that I came to watch the play. Congratulations of a well choreographed play and the musical score was just excellent!

Thank you so much for inviting us and Wendy and I have enjoyed the play.

I actually wanted to shake your hand and congratulate you but I couldn’t locate you and with the crowd traffic flowing outwards after the show, I got 'carried' along with it to the car park.

Congratulations and do keep me in mind for such wonderful events should you intend to have more in the pipeline.

Warm regards,
AIM Malaysia


Subject: RE: [Fwd: Thanks!]
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 2002 09:16:27 +0800
From: Jamie

Dear H K,

Congratulations on your successful event. I heard from many people that it is was a very good show!! I wonder of you take any pictures that have our company logo at the background! If you did, please sent a copy to us so I could show it to my boss.

Have a nice day ~

Bata Malaysia



Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 18:04:11 -0800 (PST)
From: Jason Cheong

Hi HK,

Good luck to you and your group. I've heard very good remarks about 'Galilee' and the word has gotten around that your group is worth watching out for ! Heard many good comments about 'Two from Galilee' .. It's going to be a tough act to beat ! Gong Xi Fa Chai !