Friday, December 3, 2010

A Ukulele Performance for VIPs

The Council for Third Age sent me a CD recently.It has pictures of our Ukulele performance before our distinguished guests headed by Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.
Our performance was featured in the evening's Prime Time News and I managed to capture a few screen shots with my digital camera.
The picture below is from my cameara.
The rest of these photos were sent to me by the C3A ( Thank You C3A dear darlings! ).

[Photo: From my TV screen, Mediacorps primetime news]

Soon after our introduction, and just before we began our first song item.
I engaged our VIPs and guests giving a brief background of our selections and setting the "mood" in readiness.

Darren was a surprise. He was steady and quite relaxed considering this was only the 2nd time that he had appeared on the large stage with me for a public performance. The 1st time was last year at the launch of the Active Ageing Carnival at Suntec City. During my ukulele performance with R Chee a friend of mine, I saw Darren and his parents among the crowd and invited him on stage. I had extra ukuleles and giving him one asked if he would like to join us impromptu. He was game and daring enough to accept despite not knowing what songs we were doing. But I had taught him a little more than the other kids I've coached as he showed a keener interest back then.
Click Here to read about that including some pictures of Darren and us at that event at Suntec City in 2009.

Someone asked me there, " How long have you been playing the Ukulele? "
When I said, " I started a long time ago...before Singapore became fully independent in 1965 ..",
the response was , "Wow! before I was even born !"
Well, Darren if he keeps playing would be a step ahead of me. He started when I taught him and his schoolmates in Primary 5 ( 10 years old then).
He was also a member of the scout troop to whom I've specially taught long-forgotten scout and campfire songs as mentioned in my previous post.
I went out of my way to do this voluntarily for a couple of years as that's simply the best way to impart heritage, knowledge, history about the legacy of the past to young and eager minds.
So, Darren is not the only beneficiary. There are many others including their most appreciative parents.

For this performance, Darren was using his simple Mahalo soprano Ukulele.
I had just bought my latest Ukulele...a handmade Maestro Concert Ukulele ( UC 20) made entirely from solid Mahogany wood. The listed price is $ 399 at City Music at Peace Centre.
Unk Dicko got a discount as a card member of Maestro Ukulele Singapore.
The sound quality from this particular ukulele is superb with a rich and well-balanced tone. It comes with superior Aquila Nylgut Strings..model 14.
It is excellent for playing songs or tunes that require a little more plucking mixed with intricate some of the 'keroncong' type melodies or even some advanced Christmas numbers.
I'm very happy with my buy. I expect the tone to be even better in a few short years.
Listeners told me they simply "love" the sounds of this ukulele.
"Would you like to have it?" I asked someone.
His classic reply, " I prefer to have your fingers ! "

This was where we were seated at during Lunch..Table 4.


sim hui hwang said...

I like this post very much, Mr Yip, especially about what you have imparted to the young cubs in your scout troop. I was a former scouter and I really like this idea of passing on a life-skill to the young and this endearing story of yourself teaching young Darren is something that warms my heart and I wish I could pick up a musical instrument too. Incidentally, I have a student who is very keen to learn how to play the ukulele after I had sent him the song 'Somewhere over the rainbow' sung by Iz, that Hawaiian singer who sang it so beautifully. My student, who is waiting for his O level results wants to own a ukulele very badly. He told me he would be getting it from Katong, at his church perhaps and he hopes to play it for me. So sweet of him.

Well, Mr Yip. I hope you will continue to inspire the young ones to enjoy the sounds of the ukulele and spread the joy of making lilting,happy sounds to his audience.

unk Dicko said...

Hi Hui Hwang,
Thank you for your sweet and uplifting comment. I'm equally heartened by your student's intention to take up ukulele so that he could serenade you one day, hopefully soon! That's the beauty and often the unseen side of the "rewards" of a teacher's labour and love.
I've my fair share of such rewards and they often came from the most unexpected ones! Those who caused you the most headaches, most trouble,most heartaches...and you'd never given up on them...are the ones that understand and appreciate most.
Btw,I was not scoutmaster of Darren's troop. First time, I was invited to their Campfire as a very special guest to perform and give a yarn. I did much more than that over the years.