This afternoon’s Beautiful Sunday, a free Esplanade Presents programme, featured the Singapore Wind Symphony Youth Wings (SWSYW), with members (aged 10 to 25) consisting of youths from all walks of life. An offshoot of the Singapore Wind formed in 2003, these passionate youths hope to inspire other young talents through their music. Their focus is on learning and taking opportunities to provide an unique edge to music making and performing. The conductor for the day is Adrian Tan.
The SWSYW played four medleys from Broadway musicals, namely My Fair Lady, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables and Annie.
I enjoyed the lovely arrangements, the fine nuances and big, rich sounds of SWSYW as well as Adrian Tan’s conducting style. Whether it was a majestic opening, gentle solo instruments playing; crescendos or diminuendos, gentle passages or grand and rousing climaxes; the conductor’s hand gestures and body language spoke volumes.
A pleasant surprise was when twenty members (including the 10-year-old-boy) formed a choir in front to lend their voices to the song Tomorrow (from ‘Annie’). One girl played the tambourine and they even had choreographed movements! The audience were urged to join in the sing-along, but this being a typically Singaporean audience, nobody sang but many joined in the rhythmic clapping.
Another thing about the audience today was that they were possibly the worst I’ve witnessed in a Concert Hall! There were children crying loudly (which created a ripple effect) but their parents weren’t cooperative and refused to budge when an usher approached them until other patrons showed their displeasure. I wondered how the musicians on stage felt! Then there was a group of middle-aged people having a picnic and making a lot of distracting noises (with their loud voices and plastic bags rustling), and when two ushers spoke to them, they actually retorted: “Cannot eat meh? Sorry hor!!” I couldn’t understand how the lady sitting next to me could be nodding off and breathing heavily through all these!
Such behaviour could be the reason the concert was cut short. The Phantom of the Opera medley was left out! (It was clearly stated in the pamphlet given.) I hope never to encounter such an audience again.