Jazz Performance

Once a semester, students of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore, will present an exuberant jazz concert at the Asian Civilisations Museum with their lecturer, Dr Tony Makarome. These students are most comfortable with Classical music but all of them go through one module of Jazz as part of their professional development. Today’s performance was an interesting one, well-worth attending.

The very first song saw a Year 3 Violin Major lending her vocals to Samba de Verao by Brazilians Marco Valle, Serge Valle & American Norman Grimbal. The next one was George Shearing’s Lullaby of Birdland sung by an exchange student from France who also played the oboe.

It was a bonus to see Dr Makarome playing the piano in the next piece, Night in Tunisia by Gillespie, instead of the bass for which he is very well-known. Another wonderful bonus from Dr Makarome was his jazzy arrangement on Paganini’s (1782-1840, Italian violinist and composer) Moto perpetuo, allegro de concert for violin and orchestra.

My favourite song in this concert was Nichol & Lane’s Times OF Your Life, a personal choice of the Violin major. I couldn’t help but mouth the words along with her. Dr Makarome was on the piano again! And the oboe’s two solo passages were really impressive!

The second half of the concert showcased the many talents of this group of students;

  • Song for Abdullah by American Kenny Barron was arranged by a Year 3 Bass major for the whole band. (The original was for piano and flute.)
  • Year 4 Composition major, Tan Yuting wrote the piece called Wanna Build Snowman Not?  in a Bossa Nova style. It had a very soothing melody with solos by the oboe and cello.
  • A Year 3 Recording Arts major not only played the drums throughout this concert but also arranged a piece by American Sonny Rollins as a tribute to the prominent acoustician, simply called Sonny Lim For Two.
  • A Year 4 Cello major wrote the finale, called Dylan’s Song (this student’s name is Dylan), featuring solos by the trombone, bassoon, guitar and cello; and Dylan also sang one of the verses.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable lunchtime concert, well-worth sacrificing food for! I eagerly await the next one in November.


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