All posts filed under: Education

Who Cares About the General Elections 2020?

As a young man during my early 20s, I was quite apathetic towards politics and current affairs. After all, I’ve never had to exercise my right to vote (walkovers were very common back then) and my life went on as per norm. No biggie right? All that changed after I started studying with Mr. Leong Yoon Pin. He was a principled man who cared deeply about his surroundings and the people around him. The fact that he actually got upset seeing people smoke and harming pregnant ladies with second hand smoke speaks volumes about the kind of man he is. I would often observe folded newspapers on his sea-facing desk during my morning “harmony” (composition) pilgrimages to his Bayshore home. He seems to read the news everyday and is very well versed in current affairs.  Being ever curious, I asked him “Why would you bother reading the news when it doesn’t really concern us at all?” He was obviously amused (and a little concerned) but patiently replied “Politics, current affairs, policies affect us in more …

WOW! The Arts Are Essentially Non-Essential?!

WOW! Hear hear! The Arts Are Essentially Non-Essential?! Intellectually, I understand the survey simply brought to the fore, typical Singaporean culture and psyche. After all, we’ve come so far together (economically) because of a heady mix of ingredients – big doses of pragmatism, utilitarianism, legalism with a pinch of elitism. Nothing wrong there and I’m really not anti-establishment. I’ve travelled extensively for artistic work overseas and with each new city and culture I encounter, I’m ever more grateful to be born in Singapore. My observation is that in general, local Artists do lead a far more comfortable and stable life as compared to some of our counterparts overseas. Thank you very much. Emotionally however, it did hurt to have my calling and my profession (one I take great pride in), be labeled as ‘non-essential’. It is an uncomfortable proposition, however seemingly logical the non-essential label may be. Artist colleagues from across disciplines, were similarly and understandably outraged and/or upset. A pragmatist can hardly dispute Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a (rough) guide to the determination …

Guest Conducting the Taiwan Youth Festival Choir

English text below. 有幸被福爾摩沙合唱團的藝術總監蘇慶俊教授邀請當台灣節慶青年合唱團的客席指揮,與他和來自美國的 Matthew Oltman 同台演出。 指揮台灣最傑出的青年歌者。有多傑出?請看上面在國家音樂廳彩排的摘要! 🙂 與心思細膩的音樂家,教育家和藝術工作人員一起工作,奮鬥。 七天內學會了二十多首不同作曲家,編曲家運用不同的語言和方言的合唱曲。 四個城市,四個美麗的音樂廳。 到了不同地方授課。 當歌唱比賽評審。 遇到馬來西亞的老朋友。 吃到超級無敵讚的美食(岡山羊肉,台中燒烤)。 《八陣圖》終於獲得發表,受表演者和觀眾熱烈的反應。 感謝大師蘇慶俊和所有福爾摩沙和台青的工作人員。這位客席指揮從你們身上學習到好多東西,也因你們得到許多的啟發和感動。請繼續這個培養下一代的神聖音樂教育工作。台灣加油! “只求音韵撩心弦,合唱群艺得知音!” – 鄭維誠 I had the good fortune of being invited by Professor Julian Su, Artistic Director of the renowned Formosa Singers to guest conduct the Taiwan Youth Festival Choir and share the podium with him and Matthew Oltman (Music Director Emeritus of Chanticleer) and oh my was this a fantastic experience! A summary: Conducted some of the finest young singers of Taiwan; Don’t believe me? Listen to their rehearsal at the National Concert Hall above! Got to work with and observe the work of really meticulous musicians, educators and arts administrators; Learnt over 20 beautiful choral compositions written by various composers and arrangers (some Singaporean) in various languages and dialects in 7 days; Performed in 4 cities in fab concert halls; Attended (and gave) music workshops; Adjudicated a singing competition; Met an old friend from Malaysia; Tasted some REALLY HEAVENLY FOOD; “Eight Trigrams” is premiered to appreciative audiences and performers who responded enthusiastically to it (really can’t imagine …