Tuesday, September 16, 2008

An unforgettable Ukulele duet with a VIP !

Recently, Gongshang Primary School celebrated its 88th Anniversary in a most unique style.
The school opted to move away from the usually formal setting"demanded" of such events...that is, to put on a formal display on the school stage, formal parade and then a formal dinner to round off the night.
Well, as I've said that's usually how it is done in most schools. That's what I've been through too, over 4 decades of involvement in education.
But GSPS decided to do it differently.
And what a DIFFERENCE that turned out to be!

The Guest -of- Honour for the night was none other than the Senior Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Home Affairs.... Mr Masagos Zulkifli.

He is also the MP for Tampines GRC.

The last event of the night was a garden party dinner for guests and visitors which was held in the schools'
eco garden.

Music flowed through the various performances by the pupils on piano, guzheng, horns and bells, choir etc...

To round off the beautiful night of celebration, we had the GSPS Ukulele, Percussion and Singing group consisting of Primary 4 and 5 pupils. I have been coaching the group together with Richard Chee since a month ago.

And they performed admirably!
Even though they only could play 3 or at most 4 simple Ukulele chords.

Then we heard that the VIP wanted

to sing a song with us, towards the end of the dinner.

He came to the performing dais and told me he would like to try the song Burong Kaka Tua.

No problem, I said.
Playing C chord...he felt it was too high for him.
So, I opted for a lower chord.
He went into the song with spirit and gusto and everyone else joined in.

The music that we played that night was in the style of the old kampong...with a keronchong tempo and sung most beautifully by the kids.

Songs like...
Chan Mali Chan
Di Tanjong Katong
Gelang Si-Paku Gelang
Dayung sampan
Rasa Sayang

and for variety, we had others like..
Yellow Bird
The More We are together
What a night! The feedback I got was that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the occasion and especially the music that we provided that night. It was one night they would long remember!

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