Following the success of Songs Our Parents Love ‘那些年,我们一起听的歌’ in 2014, the Philharmonic Youth Winds continued its collaboration with Esplanade, Theatres on the Bay, featuring another four of Singapore’s best vocalists.

It was definitely a challenging task to put together the voices of Singapore contemporary classical soprano Khor Ai Ming, Singapore Idol 2007 finalist Jay Lim, veteran performer Xie Jin Shi (谢金石) and his daughter Lindy Chia on the same stage as the talented young musicians, but it was nevertheless a fantastic programme.

Jay Lim on Stage / Credits: Philharmonic Youth Winds

Jay Lim on Stage / Credits: Philharmonic Youth Winds

Led by resident conductor Adrian Chiang, the wind band brought to life classic Mandarin and Hokkien songs in various medleys and pop arrangements, as a dedication to all parents and grandparents within the audience.

The full house crowd was truly entertained in the first half, with many of them wavering their lightsticks and singing along to Ai Ming’s and Jay’s renditions of 40s to 80s songs, such as Yao Li’s ‘玫瑰玫瑰我爱你’, Yao Min’s ‘天上人间’ and Eric Moo’s ‘情感联络站 (Kopi-O)’.

Opening the second half was the appearance of Lindy Chia, who first performed alongside the youth winds in 2014 in the first run of the series. She did her interpretation of Sandy Lam’s ‘至少还有你’ with a twist of her own, as well as a brilliant rendition of the classic ‘相思河畔’.

Xie Jin Shi on Stage / Credits: Philharmonic Youth Winds

Xie Jin Shi on Stage / Credits: Philharmonic Youth Winds

This was not long before the members of the audience, some of which were Xie Jin Shi’s vocal students, roared to his epic entrance with ‘我问天’, the theme song to popular drama series ‘爱’. They have been raring to see the veteran’s appearance from the start of the show, and it was obvious that he did not disappoint his fans.

With his phenomenal stage presence, he was able to swing the young and old, as he belted away ‘新加坡河’, an original composition that was meant for a Singapore patriotic song competition written by the late ‘林俊民’, and a medley of songs by ‘刘家昌 (Liu Jia Chang)’.

A Blast of a Concert / Credits: Philharmonic Youth Winds

Concert Finale / Credits: Philharmonic Youth Winds

The concert then closed with an impressive duet on ‘青春年华’ by both the father and daughter, before Khor Ai Min and Jay Lim joined in a sing-together finale of ‘明天会更好’, which nearly brought the house down.

Xie Jin Shi, whose singing career began since 1979, has had many opportunities to sing with different musicians, with the largest number at one time being 24. This time however, he felt much honoured to be accompanied by more than 60 musicians from the Philharmonic Youth Winds.

“It was something that I have not thought of before, but it is very encouraging to see the younger ones playing such classic oldies, as I always believed that music has no boundaries, regardless of age, language and the different instruments used,” said Xie Jin Shi.

Amid the repertoire consisting mostly of pieces involving the vocalists, a special mention has to go out to Euphonium player Kang Chun Meng, who captivated the audience in a beautiful solo of Samuel Hui’s ‘浪子心声’; as proven by random pockets of people in Circle 1 who were singing heartily to the music.

Honestly, to say that the concert was enjoyable is almost an understatement. It was probably also the first time I have brought my parents to a show and have the music played right into their hearts, perhaps like the rest of the audience.

It was definitely an evening to remember, and surely the songs that my parents love.