A visit to Singapore Esplanade

The 3 of us from Theatre Newington visited Singapore last week for a performance at Singapore Esplanade.  During the visit, thanks to our friends, Chong Meng who offer a great hospitality at his home at Seaside Residences.

About the Show: 5trings

We have enjoyed the show very much. To give a short introduction, is about 5 outstanding Singapore Chinese Orchestra musicians present acclaimed works by Hu Deng Tiao, the late composer who established the silk string quintet performance format.

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Boldly incorporating Western string ensemble playing techniques while retaining the form of the traditional Chinese ensemble, this quintet features five traditional Chinese string instruments—erhu, pipa, yangqin, liuqin and guzheng.

We have enjoyed elegant and lively quintet pieces such as A Joyful Night, Martial Arts in the Farmland, Three Variations on the Yangguan Pass and more. The SCO Silk String Quintet comprises Lin Hock Siang (erhu), Zhang Li (liuqin/zhongruan), Qu Jian Qing (yangqin), Zhang Yin (pipa) and Xu Hui (guzheng).

About Singapore Chinese Orchestra

Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO), inaugurated in 1997, is Singapore’s only professional national Chinese orchestra. SCO, made up of more than 80 musicians, occupies the Singapore Conference Hall, which is a national monument. With Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as its patron, SCO takes on the twin role of preserving traditional arts and culture and establishing its unique identity through the incorporation of South-east Asian cultural elements in its music.

Below is the first video of the video series introducing the Chinese Orchestra and music tradition:

SCO has impressed a broadening audience with its blockbuster presentations and is fast establishing itself around the world. Well-known for its high-performance standards and versatility, SCO has performed at numerous prestigious events such as the World Economic Forum and International Summit of Arts Council in 2003, and the 2006 International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual Meeting.

With its vision to be a world-renowned people’s orchestra, SCO widens its outreach by performing regularly at various national parks, communities and schools. SCO also commissions its own compositions and organised the Singapore International Competition for Chinese Orchestral Composition (SICCOC) in 2006, 2011 and 2015 respectively. The competition aims to promote compositions that incorporate music elements from Southeast Asia, also known as “Nanyang music”.

In 2012, SCO organised Singapore’s first 23-day National Chinese Orchestra Marathon, a spectacular feat that drew the participation of 31 local Chinese orchestras which participated with over 44 performances and an audience of 20,000. On 28 June 2014, SCO created history through the second instalment of Our People Our Music by creating two Guinness World Records and three Singapore Book of Records with 4,557 performers at the National Stadium, Singapore Sports Hub. It is with this vision that SCO continues to inspire, influence, educate and communicate through its music.

Music School in Singapore

During the visit, we are so lucky to be able to meet Jayden, the co-founder of Music Mood, one of the music schools in Singapore. We shared our opinion on music and arts and he also shared his vision in making the arts accessible for everyone there.

He is so driven by his mission to entertain, engage, educate and inspire through the arts. You should also like the Music Mood facebook page. I would like to end this post by one of his quotes:

As a team of dedicated arts professionals who are also arts advocates, we recognise that everyone matters and that every single role is important. We aim to continue inspiring new musicians and cultivating the arts scene.

PS: we really enjoyed the ride at Singapore East Coast park as well! The tourist who are heading there be sure to check it out.