It isn't easy for an 8 year old to watch a live orchestra play *Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27 unless the child has had some classical music background or enjoyed a concert previously. But there was an audience of children with enthusiastic families who watched our Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) perform at the Republic Polytechnic at Woodlands on Thursday evening at 7.30pm at the institution's Cultural Centre Theatre. My grandson was one of them.
We travelled 40 minutes in dense after-office traffic to reach the concert in record time, just two minutes before Lan Shui (left), the conductor for the evening's concert, walked up to his podium to conduct Rachmaninov's work.
The SSO On Campus: Pre-Tour Concerts Programme, which was given out at the lobby, helped me to understand in simple terms what the piece was all about. For my grandson, I was just glad that he agreed to attend the concert and watch the wonderful musicians performing on stage. It was his second time listening to a symphony orchestra (read other posting on Jason Lai).
He nearly lasted the full hour and as he showed signs of tiredness about 10 minutes before the end (he came direct from school and a long afternoon) I told him to pay attention for just a little bit more but an encore performance surprised us and we were treated to one in the form of a short March which kept everyone enthralled to the end. The applause was deafening.
It was well worth the trip. And, as usual, the audience triumphed as much as the musicians who, with their magnanimity and dedication, were on stage to perform so magnificently.
"Would you like to come again Josh," I asked him.
"Not tonight," he said sleepily but from his cheeky grin I knew he enjoyed every moment. At 10pm we had chicken rice in Thompson Road because we didn't have dinner earlier.
Once again, thank you Lan Shui and the SSO for making our outing such a precious one. And thanks to little Josh for agreeing to come at the last minute...
A Happy Teacher's Day everyone.
(This posting is dedicated to Ms Chong Y.L. who feels that the date for T.D. should have never been changed. I agree.)
*A Programme Note about the piece, written by Ruth Rodrigues, can be read by clicking Comments below.
The 1,000-Seat Theatre:
Modelled after the famous Kirishima International Concert Hall in Kagoshima, Japan, the auditorium boasts an acoustic design worthy of international music performance.
A highlight of this auditorium is its ability to turn into a full fledged concert hall capable of full scale musicals in just 45 minutes.
Image 1, 2: SSO Website.
Image 4: Google.
Image 5: http://zongyi.blogspot.sg
Information on theatre: http://www.rp.edu.sg/campus_tour/trcc2.htm