Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra to perform at Esplanade Concert Hall on March 18

SNYCO logo

Singapore, 22 February 2016 (Wednesday) – The newly renamed Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra (SNYCO) will perform with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) in a concert titled Dauntless Spirit 2017 on 18 March 2017 (Saturday), 7.30pm at the Esplanade Concert Hall. This concert, which is SNYCO’s first concert after its renaming in January, will feature Chinese orchestra masterpieces and a new composition by young and budding composers including Wang Chenwei, Wang Dan Hong and Jiang Ying. The concert will be conducted by SNYCO Music Director Quek Ling Kiong, Advisor Tsung Yeh and SNYCO Associate Conductor Moses Gay.

SNYCO Associate Conductor Moses Gay and Singaporean composer, SNYCO’s alumni Wang Chenwei’s We Soar will kickstart the concert. This piece was composed for the youth Chinese orchestra’s 10th anniversary concert in 2014. This majestic and passionate piece expresses the determination of young people in pursuing their dreams and achieving greater heights. It blends Chinese music elements and western classical music, resulting in a hybrid and unique musical style, with hints of modern film music, symbolising youths carrying on traditions and passing down heritage in the future. Moses Gay will also two other pieces in this concert, Silk Road and Memories of the Oil Paper Umbrella.

The silk road was a key trade route in the past and was an interweave of rich cultures from all over the world. Young composer Jiang Ying explored the distinct qualities of the Chinese music instruments, their tonality and style of performance and music elements from around the world to create a multi-cultural extravaganza piece, The Silk Road

After vigorous rounds of selection, talented SNYCO member Desmond Soo was selected to perform a solo concerto with the SCO. Through this opportunity, SNYCO hopes to provide a holistic experience and exposure to these soloists, and in turn, inspire, nurture and develop these youths into exemplary musicians in the future. He will perform erhu concerto, Zhu Yun Song’s Memories of the Oil-Paper Umbrella. Using music elements from the Taiwan Hakka dialect group, this piece portrays the Hakka people leaving their hometown in China and travel to Taiwan to earn a living in the past.

Desmond Soo’s erhu learning journey began at the age of 13, under the guidance of conductor Zheng Kai Wen. At a young age, he has shown remarkable leadership qualities as he was appointed the role of vice-chairman followed by chairman of Manjusri Secondary School Chinese Orchestra. Desmond joined the Chengsan Chinese Orchestra in 2009 and became zhonghu principal player in 2010 and is currently the Erhu principal player of Chengsan Chinese orchestra. In 2013, he performed in two overseas concerts with the Ding Yi Music Company in Guangzhou and Beijing. In the same year, he and fellow peers from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), organized and performed in their concert titled ‘An Evening in December’ in Medan, Indonesia, which was well-received. In 2012, Desmond enrolled into the NAFA’s diploma in music, majoring in erhu under the tutelage of SCO zhonghu musician, Wilson Neo Yong Soon. He clinched the 1st prize in the youth category in 2012 and later 1st in the open category in 2014, in the biennial National Chinese Music Competition organized by the National Arts Council. He was a member of the NAFA Chinese Ensemble.

Desmond joined Singapore Foochow Association Chinese Orchestra in 2014 after its reformation and held the position of chairman and concertmaster. Desmond joined the Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra as a zhonghu musician in 2017. Desmond is currently a member of the Singapore Armed Forces Music and Drama Company.

Music Director Quek Ling Kiong will lead SNYCO to perform three pieces in this concert. SNYCO will perform Wang Dan Hong’s Fourth Movement from Ode to the Sun, conducted by Quek Ling Kiong. This piece was inspired by the Bayu district in China and comprises of four movements: Treading the River, Carrying Cargos Up the Mountain, The Longing and Ode to the Sun, which displays a unique painting of Sichuan mountains and rivers. SNYCO will play the fourth movement which portrays the resilience and determination of the workers in order to earn their livelihood.

Law Wai Lun’s masterpiece Admiral of the Seven Seas – The Voyage will be featured in the concert. The Voyage consists of five parts: Celebrations, Sailing, Sea Route, Thunderstorms and Anchoring. This piece illustrates the majestic scene of Zheng He leading a large troupe of ships when travelling to the West seven times. SNYCO will also perform Dark Sky Blues composed by SCO diyinsheng musician Lim Kiong Pin.

Under the baton of Tsung Yeh, SNYCO and SCO will combine orchestra to perform one of the award-winning pieces from the Singapore International Competition for Chinese Orchestral Composition (SICCOC) 2015, Krakatoa. Composed by award-winning Singaporean conductor-composer Wong Kah Chun, it describes the eruption of Mount Krakatoa off the west coast of Java in 1883, which was one of the worst natural disasters in the 19th century. This symphonic poem is made up of three parts. The first part depicts the peaceful lives of the villages and the start of the earthquake tremors. The second part portrays the arrival of the tsunami and eruption of the volcano. The third part is the mourning of the lost. The finale of this concert will feature singer-songwriter Dick Lee’s Home, displaying the love that SNYCO and SCO members has towards Singapore, their homeland.

DS media release

Concert Details:
Dauntless Spirit 2017 – SNYCO & SCO Annual Concert
Date: 18 March 2017 (Saturday)
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Esplanade Concert Hall
Ticket Price: $15 (excludes SISTIC fee)
Tickets from SISTIC (+65 6348 5555/

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