The Crescent Girls’ School Alumni Band will make its debut in Esplanade’s Beautiful Sunday series on 8 September.
Themed ‘Soundtracks Mania’, the CGS Alumni Band (CGSSAB) will perform soundtracks from favourite movies such as The Lion King, Up, Mamma Mia and Les Misérables.
The performance will also feature the Crescent Girls’ School Band’s founding father, Mr Lee Seck Chiang, who turns 89 this year, as well as his proteges Mdm Tan Soh Hwa and Mdm Samantha Chong as conductors.
“I would like to thank Esplanade for the opportunity to perform in the Beautiful Sunday series. It means a lot to CGSSAB as we can continue playing together as one big happy family. When the project was first announced, the alumni members came together to practice once a week from July onwards. It was mainly to get back into shape and for the individual sections to organize their members for sectionals. Everyone was so friendly and excited about this upcoming concert,” said Mdm Chong.
An extension of the Crescent Girls’ School Symphonic Band (CGSSB), the alumni band was first formed informally by CGSSB graduates in the late 1970s. Since then, the group has been gathering on a seasonal basis, staging items as part of the CGSSB annual public concerts.
“It has been and always will be great honour to have Mr Lee as my teacher and mentor. I have learned so much from his humility and his passion for teaching and educating. He is still coaching the juniors in CGS – his love and loyalty for Crescent is still as strong and immense. That’s what all of us at CGSSB and CGSSAB love and are proud of!” said Mdm Tan, who is also the resident conductor of CGSSB.
Having been with CGSSB for the past 50 years, Mr Lee was ecstatic to hear of this fantastic opportunity for the alumni band to perform, and to share the stage with his students again.
“Some of the members are from the 1980 batches, and a few earlier than that. We have a good mix of members from the younger and newer generations too. Many of the ladies are mothers, some with children, and others, working adults, but yet they find and make time for the practices to happen.”
“Most of the members do not have their own instruments so they can only use the school instruments once a week during our practices. The preparation is tough but we are lucky to have the strong support of the school and the main band which makes things easier. ”
“I am deeply humbled to be conducting the band with my other two students. I am marvelled at all of their spirit, their sacrifices in time and their passion for music. I hope that the alumni band continues to enjoy working together, and that this is just the beginning of more music-making journeys.”
“It will be the most beautiful thing.”