Inclusive orchestra The Purple Symphony plays to full house

Singapore's largest disability-inclusive orchestra, The Purple Symphony, played to a full house at its first ticketed concert yesterday.
Singapore's largest disability-inclusive orchestra, The Purple Symphony, played to a full house at its first ticketed concert yesterday.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Singapore's largest disability-inclusive orchestra, The Purple Symphony, played to a full house at its first ticketed concert yesterday.

About two-thirds of the 90-member orchestra, which includes a choir, have special needs. For example, undergraduate Stephanie Ow, 21, who is blind and plays the erhu, takes her cues by listening for when the conductor and orchestra members draw their breath.

An audience of 1,200 people attended the concert at the National University of Singapore's University Cultural Centre.

Through the music the orchestra played, audience members were taken "around the world in 80 minutes". The group was set up by the Central Singapore Community Development Council and made its debut in 2015.

Undergraduate and orchestra member Ng Rui Jun, 23, also plays the erhu. Mr Ng, who does not have a disability, said: "The performance is not without technical flaws, but it's about the heart, which is what music is really about."

Priscilla Goy

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 03, 2017, with the headline 'Inclusive orchestra plays to full house'. Print Edition | Subscribe