A Singapore National Day 2014 Posting and inspired by the forthcoming Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) 2014:
Jason Lai (side) conducted, and a programme of popular melodies and classics performed by the Singapore Symphonic Orchestra (SSO) opened the doors for my 8 year old grandson to appreciate the best in music where local talents and composers feature prominently.
Having played over 50 symphonic concerts a year the orchestra, which was born in 1979, presented yet another afternoon of Home with the Classics at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music within the NUS Campus at Clementi on Saturday, 2nd August at 4pm (last illus. below).
Familiar with museum outings and Esplanade pop shows these last few years, it was Josh's first experience with a symphony orchestra. The selection couldn't have been better and the conductor couldn't have been friendlier, especially when there were many young parents with children.
Introducing each performance to help everyone understand the music about to be played, Jason Lai who hails from the UK, provided information about the pieces so simply in clipped English the audience was able to appreciate Leonard Berstein, Johann Stauss II, Georges Bizet, Edward Elgar, John Williams and our own local composer Kelly Tang without much ado.
When I asked my grandson a few days before the concert if he had heard of Star Wars he mentioned that he was familiar with it since it was the background to a particular Angry Birds game. I had him listen on You Tube a few West Side Story melodies and familiar ones from our own local repertoire, Stand Up For Singapore, Rasa Sayang and Di Tanjong Katong.
Somehow I realised he enjoyed the concert and appreciated at least four composers that afternoon but to Josh, Stars Wars Suite was the best and Sketches of Singapore second. Familiarity, I guess.
As we took the lift down after the show, a young man on the ground floor ushered us to what was a food surprise, local mouth-watering eats plus photograph taking. There were two areas filled with bites and picture-taking session provided free by 15 generous sponsors.
Thanks to the sponsors, Conductor Lai, the Orchestra and organisers.
A Happy National Day to all, especially our children.
NB: The Other Side of the Coin
I went home that evening, turned on Cable and witnessed little
children being raped, ravaged and savaged by war. A hospital scene showed a 3 year old boy, shaking in fear and pain, another with tubes all over him. Shrapnel covered both their little bodies. Sadly, the
atrocities are created by adults, and children too young even to understand, suffer the consequences.
Images from: Sharing The Journey Programme Booklet produced by sso.org.sg
Other images from Google.