Saturday, February 14, 2009

Kampong Kembangan English Sing Along Group

A fortnight ago, I received a call from my good ole' friend Tan Thoo Yang who was a member of S'g Gardens 1st Sing Singapore Champion Team 1988... a 40 strong member group led by me.
It has been more than 2 decades since that historic occasion which was televised live on TV and splashed on the front pages of our newspapers back then.
Thoo Yang told me that he is the leader of the Kampong Kembangan Senior Citizens English Sing-along Group for many years now. They meet up every Friday from 1-3 pm for this purpose. Music accompaniment is provided by him on guitar but as he is now 85 years old ( incredible...he is still driving a car around! ), he finds it a little more difficult to play the guitar as smoothly as before. He was just wondering if I can accept his invitation to join them as a guest musician.
Well, I went out of my normal routine yesterday and accepted the invite. Thoo Yang picked me up at our rendezvous point and what a revealation that was to me personally. Here is an 85 year old, mind you and still able to drive properly, carefully at the correct speed...with no problems as I saw it. Yes, all the way in heavy traffic from Sg Gardens to Kg Kembangan!

Hats of to you.... Tan Thoo Yang!

The singing group is about 20 strong but only half the number was present.
Too Young had his guitar along which was badly out of tune as the tuning knobs were loose. I spent some time to fix the problem and retuned it perfectly.
I had my 2 ukuleles with me...something this group had not had before.

By 12.20 pm, I had started strumming and singing without any song sheets, knowing full well the early birds will join in easily. That set the tone and mood and the session hit off very well as we sang the songs from the compilation they had and from my "special" songbook as well. I played both the guitar and the ukulele depending on the song type. At the end of the session, I was truly amazed when the very last song they sang was "Majulah Singapura", our National Anthem! And they sang it all standing up. This was something new to me...never seen, never happened in other groups I knew.
There is a reason for that. I shall cover it in my next post.


PChew said...

Hi Dick, Tan Too Young needs male support as the photo shows. He is the only thorn among the roses. Now there are two. I am only joking! I like singing old songs too. Keep it up and be happy all of you there!

unk Dicko said...

Yes..I do remember asking him why no other thorns around. He said there were a few before but they soon faded away. No joke, I think the group needs some men voices.
How about dropping in on them when and if you're free?
They really are a nice bunch of people there!