The #HumansAtSCO series – a special project which documents the stories of the people of Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO). We tell honest and inspiring stories of administration staff and unsung heroes working in the arts industry. We hope to bring out the very best in every story we tell, discover stories untold and positively impact the community.
Text: Elizabeth Lim & Lim Ka Min
Photo: Leng Hwee & SCO
Have you ever thought about whom you purchase tickets from? Or who ensures that the venue is safe and equipped with logistical support? And who manages the orchestra which consists of more than 80-musicians?
These are the day-to-day responsibilities of the “unsung heroes” in the Singapore Conference Hall, which has been a home to the Singapore Chinese Orchestra since 2001. Without their contributions, our compound would not be operational to hold many successful concerts and events.
Meet Leng Hwee, also affectionately known as Ah Long, the backstage support for SCO concerts and stage manager of the Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra. He has been working tirelessly at SCO for the last 19 years, making sure every concert is smoothly and nicely executed.
Today, Ah Long answers 5 questions and sheds light into his role as a Senior Production Crew of the Concert Production department.
- What do you enjoy most about being in the arts industry and what about your job excites you?
To me, the biggest takeaway from being in the arts industry is being able to learn and see many things. The happiest and most fulfilling thing for me is being able to apply the things I have learnt and complete every concert with professionalism.
- How many years have you been in SCO? Share about your role as Production Crew and SNYCO stage manager.
Time flies, I have been in SCO for 19 years already. On top of all SCO concert matters, (no matter big or small,) I am also in charge of liaising with external organizations who wish to use SCO as a venue for their multicultural events.
In 2017, I was officially appointed as SNYCO’s backstage supervisor. I help to oversee their concerts and overseas tour. My job includes helping them to move their instruments as well as being their nanny haha!
- What do you find challenging about your job?
My biggest challenge would be that SNYCO is very big and consists of many young people. Be it during local concerts or overseas tours, there will often be issues that suddenly appear so I must always be prepared. As a professional, it is important to stay calm in order to quickly react and resolve the issue.
- Share something touching which the SNYCO members have said to you and describe how you feel?
After every concert or overseas tour, I would receive messages from the members. On my birthday, I also received many well-wishes from them. When I see all their heartfelt messages, there is an indescribable feeling of happiness and gratitude in my heart. It reminds me that everything I have done for them is worth it.
- How do you find time to pursue your hobbies like cycling and cooking?
During my free time, I would go out to buy things to cook and share with my family and friends, whom I met in the army. During the weekends, my friends and I will go cycling together. After cycling, we would head back to my house to gather and reminisce about the memories we had while serving the nation together. Because I feel that my 30 years of friendship with them is so rare and precious, really have to treasure it!
Do you have any questions to ask Ah Long? Drop us a message on our Facebook or Instagram account.
Thank you for your kind attention, stay tuned to the next episode of #HumansAtSCO. 😊