SAF band performs for first time in US at Virginia Arts Festival event

The 50-person British-style brass band performed in America for the first time last week, at a Virginia Arts Festival event.
The 50-person British-style brass band performed in America for the first time last week, at a Virginia Arts Festival event.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SAF BAND

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Central Band - along with the SAF Music and Drama Company and the Silent Precision Drill Squad - performed for the first time in the United States at the Virginia International Tattoo, the signature event of the annual Virginia Arts Festival.

A 9min 36sec video posted on YouTube by the Virginia Tattoo page shows the polished band performing a medley of songs including strains from Singapore's national anthem Majulah Singapura and National Day songs such as Count On Me Singapore and We Will Get There. The performance was received with loud applause and cheers from the American audience.

The presenter introduced the band with a flourish, saying: "From the faraway Lion City, making their first American appearance, we're honoured to present to you - the world-renowned and highly colourful Singapore Armed Forces Central Band!"

An SAF Band administrator told ST on Monday (May 1) that the performance was its first in the US, and the band performed several pieces from Singapore and the United States, to reflect the close friendship between the two nations.

"As musical ambassadors of the SAF, we aim to project the professionalism of our armed forces through musical excellence, as well as to present Singapore's unique cultures to the international audience," said the administrator.

The performance was led by director of music Tan Aik Kee Ken Steven, chief drum major Muhd Hafis Amron, choreographer Ang Yi Xiang and composer/arranger Dax Wilson Liang.

The traditional 50-person British-style brass band featured a precision rifle team and a six-person civilian cultural dance team, event producer and director Mr J. Scott Jackson told Virginia's Southside Daily newspaper in a report on Thursday (April 27).

The event, which was established in 1997, took place from April 27 to 30 at the Scope Arena in Virginia's Norfolk city.