The Millennial Orchestra’s Easter performance derives from the Jewish tradition of Yom Kippur.
Contributed By Bernie Guan
Sounds of classical string instruments soaked in emotion reverberated throughout the Yamaha Auditorium at Clementi on April 19, three days before Good Friday, as The Millennial Orchestra delivered another of its dinner-time concerts titled Evening Song. At the Tuesday night performance, TMO’s strings ensemble performed German composer Max Bruch’s “Kol Nidrei,” featuring local cellist Janelle Kam. With the occasional continuo (piano accompaniment), dramatic sounds and mournful melodies, the series of orchestral works successfully drew attention to the somber observance of Good Friday and the joyous celebration of Easter festivities that follow.
City News catches up backstage with Lee Tat Haur, 38, co-founder of The Millennial Orchestra, to find out more about TMO and this concert.
What was the significance of Evening Song for the Easter season?
“Kol Nidrei,” the centerpiece of the concert, came from the Kol Nidre prayer that is recited during the evening service on Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement. Although this piece was not composed to commemorate Easter, it serves to remind Christians that the Day of Atonement is the day of reconciliation between God and mankind as accomplished through the life, suffering and death of Jesus Christ.
How do you engage, educate and inspire TMO in putting up a passionate orchestra performance?
TMO is a team effort, and everyone plays a part in engaging, educating and inspiring one another to deliver a performance. Each one is responsible for an aspect of the performance, be it taking charge of rehearsals, fund-raising, making logistic arrangements, sourcing of venues, emcee-ing or script-writing.
TMO is also anchored by key figures such as TMO’s other co-founder and resident trumpeter Leo Chee Keong, Chan Wei Shing, a professional cellist from the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Eric Wong, the resident conductor. These dedicated individuals are not only established musicians in their own right but their presence ensure the quality and musical standards of TMO.
What are the commitments of a TMO musician?
As with other amateur or community orchestras locally, musicians recruited must not only be well-versed musically but also passionate to rehearse and perform together as an ensemble. The selection of music to be performed each time also needs to educate and inspire the musicians, since each musical piece commands different technical requirements and all musicians have to learn to play as an ensemble rather than soloists. With a good dose of discipline, members can grow their individual talents, become cultural agents in classical music and engage the community, arts and culture.
What’s in the pipeline for TMO?
Our next concert is scheduled in June. It will be performed by the brass and wind sections of TMO. The performance will feature works by the British composer Gustav Holst. Following that, we are planning for another concert featuring the full orchestra in the later half of the year.
For those interested to join The Millennial Orchestra, please write in to firstname.lastname@example.org.