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Celebrating Singapore’s golden jubilee

The Sing50 concert was a true showing of our arts scene's diversity.

Reuben Dhanaraj


Published: 11 August 2015, 12:00 AM

The National Stadium (Sports Hub) was packed to its rafters on a breezy Friday evening as 45,000 Singaporeans gathered to witness Sing50, a joyous musical concert in recognition of Singapore’s golden jubilee.

Going into the stadium, I felt a sense of awe – even greater than the one I had experienced the last time I was there to witness the Barclays Asia Trophy tour. Yet this time, I harboured a tinge of doubt over the quality of the music. In my mind, I was half-expecting the concert to be overwhelmingly nationalistic, much like the annual National Day celebrations.

Moments after I sat down, Amni Musfirah, Jermaine Leong, Liwani Izzati and the ITE Show Choir burst on the stage with their opening act, “Anita Forever”, dissipating all the psychological lethargy and doubt I had built up in my mind about coming to the performance.

 

Neither language nor age was a barrier as generations gelled through the medium of music.

 

I soon found myself clapping along to the songs like a little boy, even shrieking in joy when I saw Jack and Rai appear on stage a few performances after. While the crowd applauded and cheered on the efforts for the various artists, I could not help but notice the diversity of the acts at the concert. Was Singapore’s arts scene really that broad?

Looking at the programme sheet, I realised that we had already travelled through the genres of rock, a cappella, indie and even jazz. What is more, the crowd was having the time of their lives, and the star studded line-up of Dick Lee, Stefanie Sun and JJ Lin had not even appeared on stage yet – speaking volumes about the quality of the performances thus far.

The night was still young, and while budding artists like WilTay and Reuby continued to impress the younger generation, seasoned veterans like Douglas Olivero and Sheikh Haikel brought back fond memories for the older audience. Famed Black Eyed Peas’ rapper apl.de.ap was also there to further elevate an already electrifying atmosphere.

 

Not a single performer was found wanting in passion or quality.

 

It was at the point after the rappers left the stage that I truly felt the stadium explode in a roar of applause. Joined onstage by globally renowned pianist Lang Lang, Singapore-favourite JJ Lin proceeded to sing two of his biggest hits, ‘River South’ and ‘Clash of Souls’, much to the joy of his fans present.

However, the biggest delight (and surprise) of the night was the performance following JJ Lin’s. The Metropolitan Festival Orchestra and Lang Lang stirred plenty of emotions, stunning the audience with three brilliantly synced symphonic pieces titled, ‘Toccata’, ‘Elegy’ and ‘Fantasy on Geylang Sepaku Geylang’.

Stefanie Sun appeared soon after, singing to the tunes of ‘Cloudy Day’, ‘My Desired Happiness’, ‘Green Light’ and ‘Kepler’ as thousands of dazzling phone sparkles illuminated the cosy darkness of the stadium.

As I rose alongside 45,000 others in the stadium to sing the nation’s anthem, I could not help but feel a sense of pride and joy at having been able to witness such a concert, made possible only by Singapore’s diverse arts scene.

 

The quality of the acts were a testament to the efforts put in by the performers and organisers.
Photo credits: Sing50

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