New categories for SCO's Chinese music competition

The Singapore Chinese Orchestra's newly rebranded biennial Singapore Chinese Music Competition 2020 opened for registration yesterday with new categories.

Previously known as the National Chinese Music Competition, it seeks to develop the performing skills of young musicians, raise musical standards, discover new talent as well as support the pursuit of Chinese music in Singapore.

The newly added categories are Orchestra and Solo Grand, while the existing Solo and Ensemble categories will remain, but with changes to their age limits.

There is no age limit for the new Solo Grand category and participants can pick any type of Chinese musical instruments from the strings, plucked-strings and wind sections. The winner of this category will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Under the Solo section, there are three age categories - junior, 12 years old and younger; intermediate, 18 years old and younger; and senior, 35 years old and younger - for dizi, erhu, guzheng, pipa, sheng, suona, yangqin and zhongruan.

Groups participating in the new Orchestra category should have between 30 and 80 members playing a combination of Chinese musical instruments from the strings, plucked-strings, wind and percussion sections.

For the Ensemble category, each ensemble should consist of between three and 20 members, with any combination of Chinese musical instruments from the same instrument family or type.

There is no age limit for the Ensemble and Orchestra categories.

Singapore Chinese Orchestra's executive director, Nominated Member of Parliament Terence Ho, said all could take part in the competition regardless of their Chinese orchestra background.

"Whether one has just started out on one's Chinese orchestra journey, or was previously a member of a Chinese orchestra, or has been playing in a Chinese orchestra for many years, there is a place for everyone and anyone regardless of ability, age and background to participate in the Singapore Chinese Music Competition 2020," he said in a statement.

Registration closes on Dec 2.

For more information, go to

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2019, with the headline 'New categories for SCO's Chinese music competition'. Print Edition | Subscribe