Arts News Singapore

Singapore Chinese Orchestra and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts ink Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen partnership to uplift traditional Chinese arts and culture

The Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 1 April 2022 (Friday) at NAFA’s Lee Foundation Theatre. The ceremony was marked by a performance by the SCO, featuring young musicians from NAFA. With a longstanding collaborative relationship since 2009, the MOU seeks to formalise the enduring partnership between SCO and NAFA for the preservation and promotion of traditional Chinese arts, music, and culture.

Witnessed by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, and Second Minister for Law, Mr Edwin Tong, the MOU was signed by SCO’s Executive Director Mr Terence Ho and NAFA President Mrs Tan-Soh Wai Lan. Under the agreement, both institutions aim to sustain and promote the practice and appreciation of Chinese orchestral music, identify opportunities for NAFA students to gain work experience in the orchestra, and offer platforms for integrated programmes in Chinese orchestral studies.

Through a comprehensive strategic partnership, SCO and NAFA will institutionalise the collaboration under 3P’s — “People”, “Programmes and Productions”. The theme of “People” includes industry exposure opportunities for NAFA students, through invitations to view 4 closed SCO rehearsals annually; regular internship openings, and modular credits for NAFA students as part of their Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra (SNYCO) training that is in line with their industry-based learning requirements. “Programmes and Productions” comprise an annual collaboration through the Campus Rhapsody concert series; and will feature students in SCO’s Music Tapas – performances held before SCO and SNYCO concerts.

SCO Executive Director Terence Ho said, “SCO and NAFA have been working together for many years and thus, attained a strong record of partnership. We have a number of outstanding SCO musicians who were graduates of NAFA; they built a strong foundation at NAFA, and even went overseas for further studies. Many of our SCO Principals, Associate Principals and musicians are also Instrumental Adjuncts, teaching at NAFA’s Chinese Music Department. Also, we have quite a few Singapore National Youth Chinese 3 Orchestra (SNYCO) members who are current and past batches of NAFA students. We hope to deepen and broaden our collaboration, strive to establish a robust ecosystem to develop top-notch artists and management, to groom and nurture the next generation of fine artists.”

“SCO has been a shining beacon for Chinese music in Singapore since its inauguration in 1997. Our students look up to its achievements and are honoured to be afforded opportunities to further their artistic careers in the distinguished orchestra, while gaining a better understanding of the promotion of Chinese music and culture in Southeast Asia. With this MOU, I believe our creative synergies will bring both NAFA and SCO to greater heights, and I would like to thank SCO for their continued support to nurture future generations of Chinese musicians. Together, we will elevate the quality of Chinese music in Singapore and provide more performance, learning, and career opportunities for our students. I encourage our students to continue showcasing their qualities of passion and excellence, while being inspired to grow through the arts,” said Mrs Tan-Soh Wai Lan.

To celebrate the signing ceremony, SCO and NAFA also jointly held a special chamber music concert, showcasing solo, wind, percussion, and ensemble pieces. This concert highlights the achievements by NAFA students with their lecturers, who are also SCO musicians. Alongside nine SCO musicians, seven NAFA students will perform tunes featuring a mixture of traditional and modern works, displaying the versatility and vigour of the musicians.

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