Breaking Stereotypes with Singapore Tuba Quartet

Making their debut this Sunday at the Esplanade Recital Studio is the Singapore Tuba Quartet, made up of Euphonium players Erica Goh and Vincent Tan, and Tubists Teng Siang Hong and Shawn Yap.

“We wanted to promote chamber music through the Tuba Quartet medium and put up quality shows that can leave a positive impression for the audiences. As a group, we would like to showcase the full potential of our instruments and how we are not defined by the low sounding nature of our instruments to be playing bass lines and onbeats only,” said Erica.

“Hopefully, by showcasing this other side of our instruments, young musicians will feel more motivated to play their instruments and delve into the world of chamber music. It is important to us that through our work, we can encourage young musicians to not only be a unique individual but also a good team player in ensembles,” she continued.

Titled ‘Essentials’, the concert will feature music that are inspired by the 4 basic elements of Fire, Water, Wind and Earth.

Audiences will get to hear the 4-movement award winning composition ‘Wind Sketches’ by Brian Balmages, and ‘A Day at Sea’, one of the latest works by Mike Forbes, whose music are now part of the standard repertoire for Tuba Quartets. Another highlight would be the piece ‘Fireworks’’ by John Firth, which is one of Vincent’s favourite works since he first got involved with Tuba quartets.

“Since returning to Singapore, I have realised that the general playing level has increased, and we are spotting more capable and motivated young musicians. These young musicians are playing at a higher level and I think it bodes well for the future! I feel very fortunate to be a part of the community here in Singapore and how supportive everyone is for this event,” said Vincent, who recently returned home from the Royal Northern College of Music.

The Singapore Tuba Quartet is not a new type of ensemble in Singapore, as previously there were the NAFA Tuba Quartet, and the Tuba Powerhouse, to name a few. The Euphonium-Tuba community in Singapore is small, but definitely a growing one.

“If we are not limited to 4 performers, I am sure you will see a lot more of us sharing the stage together. There is still plenty of room to develop for community here and I hope that this event can be a celebration of the work everyone has put in before us.”

“Apart from holding our own melodies in this concert, we just might throw in a little side act. Do join us tomorrow to find out more about the Tuba and Euphonium, and we hope to break the stereotype of what you would expect of these instruments in wind band music!”

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