Discuss Singapore radio or Singapore music education and Charles Lazaroo's name comes to mind. Well known as a pianist, school teacher and music inspector at the Ministry of Education, Singapore, Lazaroo composed the music for the Siglap Secondary School song when he was posted there.
He was also in the public eye in his involvement with the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). He had arranged and contributed music pieces to the organisation and in the 80s became SBC's music director.
Lazaroo was adept at accompanying singers on piano. In a rehearsal with him to sing a song for a 60s cultural show at TV Singapura, it took only two practices on the piano with me before the big night. I had Lazaroo to thank for the performance as it turned out well.
The rehearsal was fast and short. He looked at me, "What song you want to sing?" I mentioned the song.
"OK," he said, "just sing." I did.
"That's fine. We'll do the whole song once..." We did. And I completed my practice all within 5 minutes.
Charles Lazaroo was popular with many of Singapore 60s music vocalists and bands as they had to discuss performances and musical arrangements with him for the Talentime series, radio and TV shows.
Apparently this great pianist has many compositions to his name because according to *Juliana Lim, "I managed to publish a book about our national anthem composer, Zubir Said but did not succeed in publishing the music of the late Charles Lazaroo ('a little bird told me... ' July 3rd, 2009 posting)."
Image: National Heritage Board Singapore/Singapore Press Holdings.
Original article: Andy Lim Collection.