All posts tagged: Singapore

A Choral Tribute to Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew

Sparked by the passing of Minister Mentor Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, I wrote a new choral work that will be premiered by the Schola Cantorum Singapore’s auditioned mixed adult choir. The text is adapted from Epictetus: When death overtakes thee how wouldst thou be found? Enough if I can hold my hands to the heavens and say, “I’ve not neglected the talents thou gavest me as to understand thy Rule: I’ve laid nothing to thy charge: I’ve not murmured or repined.” For the life thou gavest me, I thank thee. More details to follow! Albert

Gazing into the Crystal Ball for Singapore’s Music Education

I was recently invited to be one of the workshop panelists at a recent weeklong 2013 Kodály Course organised by Singapore Teachers’ Academy for the aRts (STAR). A ‘music commando’ team of clinicians gathered here, comprising of the Principal of the Kodály institute (KI), Dr. László Nemes, KI lecturer Szirányi Borbála (fondly known as ‘Bori’) as well as Lucinda Geoghegan who works with the Royal College of Scotland & the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS). Sheryl Sim, in her dual capacity as a fellow alumnus of KI and STAR staff was also on the panel as one of two Singaporeans offering training & local perspectives. In the course of the week, common singing (mass singing in the mornings and evenings), methodology (the science & art of teaching), musicianship (building of personal musical skills), singing games for children (experiencing and designing music games) were delivered by the panel. From the simplest activities to the most complex and demanding of tasks, careful preparation, sophisticated ideas and pedagogy underpins all these activities ensuring progress at all times. …

Hungry Ghost Festival in Singapore

I gave my French housemate Gregory Hérail the very happening Singaporean movie titled 881. The movie is a musical-comedy drama based on the ‘Getai’ (literally ‘song stage’ in Chinese) scene in Singapore that occurs during the Hungry Ghost Festival. Decided to upload some pictures on what it is like during the month long Hungry Ghost Festival. The Hungry Ghost Festival involves lots of burning of joss sticks, paper maids, paper bungalows, paper clothes and offerings such as biscuits, fruits etc. to deities, wandering spirits & ancestors. It is believed that whatever we burn will reach our ancestors (if this is the case, I’m guessing it is a lot greener and foresty in the underworld considering how jungles are being burnt in Indonesia). It is a rather smokey, and at times, eerie scene. Paper ‘money’ are tossed in the air to pass money or other things to the wandering spirits. For some strange reason, some people are shouting ‘HUAT AH’ (get rich ah!) as they toss paper money in the air. I doubt the shouting of …

Visit to Universal Studio Singapore

I first met Hong Kong’s Plaisir Ensemble and their conductor Mr Man (think cantonese) at a choral festival held in Vietnam this year.  It was a happy coincidence that they could be in town en route home from Sri Lanka and we decided to meet up and hang out! Hosting them was a real pleasure…  Not only was there fantastic sharing of food, music, philosophy and ideas etc., it was also a very good excuse to give myself a break and have my maiden visit to the famed Universal Studio Singapore (ya ya, I’m a foreigner in my own country) together with Mrs Tay! While getting onto the monorail en route to Sentosa, we ended up queuing at the exact door where some of my ex-SAJC choir students were waiting to go to USS as well!  It was great to hear how they’re all in university and doing well.  相见不如偶遇, so we took a quick picture once we alighted from the monorail. The ex-SAJC choir gang still hanging out after all these years! More amazing …