Next year's Chingay puts spotlight on xinyao

Liang Wern Fook surrounded by Chingay performers at the media conference yesterday.
Liang Wern Fook surrounded by Chingay performers at the media conference yesterday.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

The home-grown Mandarin music wave xinyao, or Singapore songs, takes the spotlight at next year's Chingay.

Speaking at a media conference held at F1 Pit Building yesterday, one of the movement's leading lights Liang Wern Fook, 52, says: "This is the first time xinyao will be presented independently as a segment by itself in the Chingay parade. Chingay has been about the multiracial and multicultural parts of society and xinyao is definitely one of the most important assets of Singaporean culture."

The parade celebrates its 45th anniversary next year. To mark the occasion, Liang has composed and written the Chinese lyrics to next year's theme song, Xin Zhong De Cai Hong. Writer-director for television Goh Ming Siu wrote the English lyrics for the song, which is called Rainbow In Our Hearts in English.

At the grand finale, the song will be performed by local artists Alfred Sim, Abigail Yeo, Vicknesvari Vadivalagan and Bakti Khair.

Liang says that he chose the rainbow because it "depicts the variety of our multicultural community" and it is also a bridge between the realities and ideals of our unique society.

The Cultural Medallion recipient has also been designated as Chingay's artist of the year. He is the first person to have been twice honoured this way - he was also the artist of the year for Chingay in 2012. Then, he had written the Chinese lyrics for the theme song that year, Love Will Make You See.

Chingay 2017 takes place on Feb 10 and 11 at 8pm at the F1 Pit Building. Tickets from $28.50 to $60 are available through Sistic. There is also a Chingay 2017 Night Fiesta in Chinatown on Feb 12 which is free, as well as a National Education Show on Jan 21.

The theme for the parade is Soundwaves Chingay, WeCare Singapore and it will feature 8,000 performers in 50 items.

Well-loved songs Singapore Pie, Voices From The Heart, Sparrow With A Bamboo Twig and Friends Forever will be performed during the xinyao segment.

Students Aletha Lim and Angel Corrie J. Dias, both 15, will be incorporating classical Indian dance moves into the Mandarin song Singapore Pie, a Liang composition. Aletha says: "It is very interesting as we get to do something new for the first time."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2016, with the headline 'Next year's Chingay puts spotlight on xinyao'. Print Edition | Subscribe