Friday, October 15, 2010

The Minstrels Made Hari Raya at Serangoon a night to Remember!

On Sunday 3 October 2010, Kampong Serangoon celebrated Hari Raya big time at the SERANGOON. When I was approached, some 3 weeks earlier, by the Chairman of the Org Committee requesting if my newly formed group...The Garden Minstrels.. could contribute an item, my response went further than that.
"No, not just an item. Instead I'll give you an old-style gotong-royong Singalong where those attending the event can join in and make it a memorable night for all," was my reply.
Chairman Mr Rafi and a few others were incredulous!
Normally, at such short notice and with my minstrels being so new to most everything...the songs, music arrangement, public appearance, practice and rehearsals..etc, most in my shoes will never accept such an assignment. And rightly so too, if I may add.

But Unk Dicko relish such challenges, always have!
However, it required a lot of real, solid hard work and effort on my part to prepare the songs, teach my members from scratch for 3 of the 'keroncong' songs and getting a songsheet out with lyrics for all 11 songs. All done happily and voluntarily for the good of the community.

Getting ready for our performance
Earlier in the evening, our Minstrels had provided pre-Dinner music at the entrance to
the Hall. That set the mood for more and better things to come. Our resident MP, Minister Mrs Lim Hwee Hua was away in Brussels for a Conference. Guest of Honour was MP Yeo Guat Kwang seated at the VIP table. The Programme began with dance items while dinner was served.
More items followed. We were to make our appearance somewhere mid-way. But that was changed rather suddenly and we were told we would be the last performing group. Sometimes, these things do happen for whatever reasons...and the best option is to keep cool, see the brighter side of it, accept it. It turned out perfect without my doing anything at all. I had anticipated that what we will be doing would round off the night nicely if we came on last.
And now was told so. See, keep cool.
We arranged ourselves in an informal way on stage, with 2 guitars on the left, 2 ukuleles in the centre and 1 more ukulele to the right.

Our left section looking towards my direction for the cue to begin.

Richard and Unk Dicko was at the centre.
I had prepared a medley of 10 songs broken into 3 parts. Before we began, I introduced the Garden Minstrels as a group and mentioned that we were only formed 2 months ago and already this was our 2nd public performance. Striking a chord with a crowd or audience is always very important and that was my job as Leader. The best way to get a crowd loosened up is to make them smile and laugh. And that's what I did with a few choice crackers. It went down very well and I could hear much laughter. Made it short, sweet and infectious.
Then I gave the "intro"' and we began.........!

Presenting...Unk Dicko and The Garden Minstrels....

This old -style Singalong was the highlight of the evening

The Minstrels in full swing with their singing and music.

Solid Ukulele sounds from Richard and Unk Dicko

The crowd getting really warmed up as you'll see later....


Andy Young* said...

Exemplifying the ultimate in excellent senior entertainment. You are a leader Dick.

unk Dicko said...

Thanks for the compliments Andy. I simply enjoy doing what comes quite naturally.