Orchestra Of The Music Makers, playing music like the pros

Running an orchestra is not child's play, though the student leaders of the Orchestra of the Music Makers make it look easy.

The 140-strong amateur ensemble has presented four successful seasons in Singapore and overseas. It begins its fifth year on Saturday with a concert at the Esplanade Concert Hall, under the baton of conductor Chan Tze Law.

The musical programme was designed by the teens and 20somethings who make up the orchestra, and includes George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue and the Star Wars Theme written by John Williams.

Executive committee member and viola player Oliver Tan, 23, says: "Our dream is to show the audience that orchestral music is not high-brow or for the well-educated, but is also accessible and immediately rewarding for everybody."

The orchestra was formed in 2008, when 80 students banded together to keep playing and performing after they graduated from ensembles in schools and universities.

Their 2011 recording of Gustav Mahler's Resurrection Symphony won them invitations to two noted British music festivals last July, the Cheltenham Music Festival and Lichfield Music Festival. Cheltenham's artistic director Meurig Bowen praised their "luxuriant orchestral opulence and collective youthful exuberance".

OMM's other concerts this year include a June 15 performance of Mozart and Tchaikovsky at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Hall under British conductor Christopher Adey. In August, the ensemble performs the haunting - some say daunting - compositions of Wagner, including excerpts from his Ring Cycle.

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