Back for a third year running, ‘Band Fiesta in the Community‘ is jointly organized by the Band Directors’ Association (Singapore), Bukit Batok Community Club and West Mall on 12 August at West Mall’s open plaza.
The festival has been well-received by the community since 2015, and is now an annual event that is highly anticipated by both performers and members of the public.
“We first organized the Band Fiesta as part of SG50 to celebrate our nation’s 50th year of independence. Since the start of the band project in 1960s, our school bands have played an active role in National Day celebrations, either in school observance ceremonies or participation in NDP parades. This festival draws bands across our island to bring the festive spirit to our heartlands. We thank our partners, Bukit Batok CC and West Mall for their support in making this festival possible,” said Andrew Kuek, current BDAS chairman.
The one day festival which starts at 10am, will see its first performance by the combined band of Gan Eng Seng and Canossa Convent Primary Schools. Throughout the day to 4.30pm, the event will see 12 other bands from primary school, secondary school, junior college, polytechnic, alumni and community levels.
One such group is the combined band from Nanyang Junior College and St. Andrew’s Junior College under the baton of Marvin Khoo, who is SAJC’s resident conductor.
“As a performing arts group, we should always be performing. So far this year, SAJC Band has only completed our SYF and a joint concert with the Saints Alumni Band. It’s only appropriate we do an outdoor public performance in the heartlands.”
“Besides, JC Band enrollment is much smaller nowadays compared to ten years ago. With the J2s stood down, it is almost impossible to do a performance with just the J1s. Due to the close proximity with NYJC, we thought it would be great to combine and perform together. It helps a lot that the conductors are good friends too,” Marvin explained.
Band of the Bukit Batok Community Club, West Winds, is no stranger to the band fiesta, having performed for many Bukit Batok grassroots events since its inception. They will be performing ‘Asean Dance Suite’, arranged by Thai composer COL Prateep Suphanrojn, which is a medley of Asian dances from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
“As representative of Bukit Batok SMC, West Winds is delighted to be a part of the band fiesta for the opportunity to bring music to the community by promoting an awareness and appreciation of band music. This aligns with what we stand for as a band: For music, for friendship, for community outreach,” said James Chua, president of West Winds.
Wrapping up the band fiesta is Ngee Ann Polytechnic Alumni Band, whose yearly calendar has always included a community performance for members of the public.
“Our participation in the event is part of our annual band program, which we hope to outreach to the community with the music that they are able to relate to,” said president James Ng.
“Do join us on Saturday as we bring you music by Wakin Chau (周華健), Earth Wind & Fire and popular Enka Hits!”
A contributing editor at TBP.