SINGAPORE - Students will take on more roles at this year's National Day Parade 2018, organisers revealed on Tuesday (June 5).
They will participate in the military tattoo for the first time at the August 9 event while the Combined Schools Choir will return after a five-year break.
Senior Lieutenant-Colonel Kenneth Chiong, chairman of the parade and ceremony committee, told a media event that the students will "bring together Singaporeans from all walks of life".
Yuhua Secondary School will send 61 display band members to take part in the parade while the National Cadet Corps (NCC) Precision Drill Squad will send 18 students from Deyi, Woodlands Ring and Christ Church secondary schools, and Anglican High School.
Special education schools will also send 18 students.
As a result, this year's military tattoo will be the biggest held at The Float @ Marina Bay, with more than 560 participants.
They have been spending nine hours each Saturday rehearsing for the parade since March.
Christ Church NCC student Vicky Soh, 15, said the rehearsals have been a good way to make friends. "It takes a while for me to know and get close to people, so the rehearsals are helpful for a shy person like myself," she said.
Four secondary schools - Riverside, Unity, Yuhua and East Spring - will send 220 students for the choir.
Rachel Robin Fernandes, a Secondary Two student from East Spring, said she is looking forward to singing Chan Mali Chan. "The song is vibrant and full of actions," said the 13-year-old. "Taking part in the parade is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I'm both excited and nervous."
Vice-president of the Amalgamated Union of Public Employee Ng Hee Seng, 62, is looking forward to catching up with old friends when he marches in the contingent for the 39th time.
The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority officer said: "I've made a lot of friends over the years, and the rehearsals are great for spending time together."
On Tuesday, pilots from the Republic of Singapore Air Force Pilot flew their jets in three different formations as a teaser for the aerial display.
One of them is a fighter jet painted blue in preparation for the Air Force's golden jubilee celebrations later this year. More details will be announced at a later date.