Trainee teacher bags a night's stay at Esplanade Theatre with an erhu-violin mashup video

SINGAPORE - A 24-year-old trainee teacher has won a night's stay at the Esplanade Theatre with a music video for a SG50 contest.

Ms Tay Zhi Wen's 15-second musical mashup of this year's National Day Parade theme song, Our Singapore, and the Happy Birthday song came out tops out of 168 entries for the "SG50 Biggest Fan" contest. The contest called for participants to record a birthday wish for Singapore in a video lasting up to 15 seconds, and upload it onto YouTube or Instagram.

Ms Tay produced her original piece mostly on the erhu, a Chinese instrument which she has been playing for 10 years, and on the violin, which she has been learning to play for more than a year. She also used the zhonghu, another Chinese instrument which is similar to the erhu.

Ms Tay credited her boyfriend, a music composer, for coming up with the idea for the video.

"We were looking through the submissions, thinking of what we could do. We wanted to do something different, something artistic - since I could not sing nor dance very well, I decided to play to my strengths and perform a piece of music," she said.

Ms Tay, her boyfriend, her mother and her younger brother will stay for a night at the Esplanade on National Day eve and receive a backstage tour, lunch on stage on the Esplanade Theatre as well as get access to the Star Dressing Room. They will also be able to experience a rooftop dinner.

In addition, the four of them also received tickets for this year's NDP.

Ms Tay said that the Esplanade Theatre is special to her, as she has performed in her biggest shows there, and that it is a place where she met many of the friends she has today.

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