SCO’s 20th Anniversary Fundraising Gala Dinner & Concert 2016 fetched a record of $1,550,000!

Singapore, 22 October 2016 (Saturday) – The Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) celebrated its 20th anniversary with a Fundraising Gala Dinner and Concert on 21 October 2016 (Friday) at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre. SCO raised a total of $1,550,000, of which, $1,500,000 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Cultural Matching Fund from the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY). Mr Chan Kok Hua of Qiu Zhai Art Studio donated two paintings named Lotus Dream and Primitive Universe, which fetched $80,000. All proceeds will go into the development and operating funds of SCO. The guest-of-honour for the fundraising gala dinner was SCO Patron Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong with Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong as special guest, and prominent organisation leaders, representatives and friends of the orchestra.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said in his message on this important occasion, “SCO’s success has been made possible by the generous donations of many individuals, the community, foundations and corporations. I thank you all for their many contributions. Your continued support will sustain SCO’s artistic creativity and outreach, and help it bring Chinese orchestral music to greater heights.”

Chairperson of the SCO 20th anniversary fundraising committee, Mrs Goh Chok Tong, thanked all donors,” It is encouraging that this year’s 20th Anniversary Fundraising Gala Dinner and Concert has attracted 61 donors, of which 10 are new ones. Among them are leading Singapore foundations and corporations. Their enduring support and donations allow SCO to achieve greater heights of excellence and to fulfil its social and artistic mission in Singapore and beyond. I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank them for generously supporting SCO.”

SCO Board Chairman, Mr Patrick Lee, added in his speech at the dinner; “We look forward to delighting our audience in the soon-to-be refurbished Singapore Conference Hall and plan to make it a premier performing arts centre. SCO will continue to extend our outreach to schools, charities and our local community.  We will be the first Chinese orchestra in the world to launch the Digital Concert Hall together with Zaobao digital platforms – and in November, making music without boundaries to be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere.”

This year’s fundraising gala features the Chinese instrument, yangqin, which is also known “蝴蝶琴” (butterfly zither) due to the shape of the instrument resembling a butterfly when the sides are fully opened. The theme of butterfly symbolises the metamorphosis of SCO as the orchestra grows and progresses over the past 20 years, while the vibrant hues of the butterfly represent the diverse repertoires that SCO performs to our ever growing number of audience. The butterfly also signifies SCO soaring to greater heights in the future with greater recognition in the international arena through more overseas performance and collaborations with renowned musicians.

An intricately-made mini yangqin was presented by Prime Minister Lee to all 61 donors. The full-house dinner of 450 guests sang the birthday song in celebration of SCO’s 20th anniversary, also enjoyed the five-course fusion dinner. Besides the delectable dinner, guests enjoyed performances by SCO under the baton of Music Director Tsung Yeh.

The concert programme showcased the beauty and uniqueness of the yangqin and its western counterpart, cimbalon, a dulcimer from Hungary. Audience got to enjoy SCO yangqin principal Qu Jian Qing’s interpretation of Liu Wei Kang’s Spring at River Qing and cimbalom musician Viktoriá Herencsár’s rendition of Zoltán Györe’s Hungarian Dances from the Collection of Pannonhalma respectively. Together, they performed with SCO yangqin musician Ma Huan in Géze Allaga’s Concert Etude in A minor – Tempest. Ten young yangqin players also performed with Viktoriá Herencsár, Qu Jian Qing and Ma Huan to present Hungarian Dances No. 5 & 6.

To express appreciation to all the donors and sponsors, Mrs Goh Chok Tong sang four songs under the piano accompaniment of Tsung Yeh – Auf flügeln des Gesanges Op. 34 No. 2, O Mio Babbino Caro, Tibetan Plateau and an encore Give Me a Rose (送我一枝玫瑰花).

In the final segment, SCO Pop Ensemble performed familiar tunes including Summer Palace and Tian Hei Hei (天黑黑) with SCO guanzi musician Han Lei and suona principal Jin Shi Yi respectively and a medley of popular drama theme songs in TV Golden Medley.

SCO expresses its heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to donors and sponsors who have helped to make the fundraising dinner a success. Funds raised would help the SCO to fulfill its vision of being a world-renowned Chinese orchestra with a uniquely Singaporean character, to inspire Singapore and the world with its music.

Please download high resolution photos from the link below:

SCO Board Chairman, Mr Patrick Lee, presented a token of appreciation to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong presented a token of appreciation to SCO 20th Anniversary Fundraising Gala Dinner and Concert committee chairperson, Mrs Goh Chok Tong

Hungarian cimbalon virtuoso Viktoriá Herencsár performed with SCO yangqin musicians and 10 young yangqin performers

Mrs Goh Chok Tong sang four songs for guests

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the SCO Board of Directors and the 20th Anniversary Fundraising Gala Dinner and Concert committee members sang a birthday song with 450 guests and cut the yangqin-designed cake


Media Contacts

Toh Wei Lin
Executive (Marketing Communications)
DID: 6557 4037 / 8121 6966

Koh Mui Leng
Assistant Manager (Marketing Communications)
DID: 6557 4047 / 9833 0556