Orchestra marks 20th year with book

Musicians (standing from far left) Phang Thean Siong and Lim Sin Yeo playing the dizi while music director Tsung Yeh conducts the Singapore Chinese Orchestra at the gala event yesterday.
Musicians (standing from left) Phang Thean Siong and Lim Sin Yeo playing the dizi while music director Tsung Yeh conducts the Singapore Chinese Orchestra at the gala event yesterday.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong launched The People's Orchestra, a book commemorating the Singapore Chinese Orchestra's (SCO) 20th anniversary, at a glitzy fund-raising gala event at Resorts World Sentosa last night.

Penned by Mr Leong Weng Kam, a former journalist with The Straits Times, the book celebrates the orchestra's achievements and milestones since it was formed in 1996.

Guests at the 50-table gala event, comprising a dinner and a concert, could take home a copy of the book with donations of at least $200.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, SCO's patron, could not attend the event as he was a United States trip, but he spoke in a video message broadcast in the ballroom.

He said: "I'm delighted to see how the orchestra has grown and matured over two decades. The SCO has become an outstanding orchestra with a distinctive sound and Nanyang style of music. It is a proud reflection and showcase of our rich multicultural cultures."

The annual gala raises funds for SCO's development and operations.

Guests enjoyed a dizi repertoire, with the orchestra playing a wide range of tunes such as Hunan folk song Flying Partridges and a rearrangement of xinyao icon Liang Wern Fook's Singapore Pie.

The event last night raised a record $1.75 million.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 28, 2017, with the headline 'Orchestra marks 20th year with book'. Print Edition | Subscribe