Visitors at the Singapore Botanic Gardens on 28 November braved the cloudy skies and a brief shower for an evening of fun and orchestral delights at the NUS110 Concert in the Park, the University's rousing finale to its year-long 110th anniversary celebrations. The performance by NUS' very own Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Orchestra, was its first at the Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Among the 2,500-strong crowd, comprising the NUS community and the public, were NUS Chairman Mr Wong Ngit Liong; NUS Board Trustees Mr Abdullah Tarmugi, Mr Goh Yew Lin and Ms Chan Chia Lin; NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan; and NUS110 Steering Committee Chairman Professor Andrew Wee.
Some residents from Taman Jurong, where the NUS110 kick-off event was held in February this year, also attended the event. Taman Jurong resident, 82-year-old Mr Ahmad Bin Kusam, said the last time he was at the Botanic Gardens was 20 years ago. He was glad for the opportunity to attend this event, as he said he liked music and would otherwise be alone at home.
Principal Conductor Associate Professor Jason Lai led the Orchestra with a rendition of Brahms' Academic Festival Overture. This was followed by a stirring rendition of Mozart's Violin Concerto, featuring NUS alumnus Loh Jun Hong, one of Singapore's top violinists, with Dvorak's moving New World Symphony soon after. As twilight descended, the Orchestra played the ever-popular Waltz of the Flowers from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Suite, a fitting start to the Christmas season. The evening's repertoire ended with John Williams' orchestral suite from the Harry Potter movies, which the musicians performed as an encore as well.
"There should be more concerts like this, said NUS alumna Chua Tse Lert, when asked what she thought about an outdoor orchestral performance like NUS110 Concert in the Park. She was there with NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health graduate student Kohni Phang. They had heard of the event through an email sent out earlier to the NUS community.
Prior to the concert, children were given whimsical creations by balloon sculptors while magicians kept them enthralled with card tricks and more. The Lorong Boys, a local band consisting of Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music alumni, churned out crowd-pleasing tunes, a prelude to the orchestral concert.
Find out more about NUS110.