The Oldies Concert brought members of City Harvest’s Dialect Church back to the prime of their lives.
Contributed By Venessa Thor
The Oldies Concert, organized by the Dialect Church of City Harvest Church, brought out some wonderful musical performances, and brought back fond memories of yesteryear for the over-1,000 elderly folk present.
Held at CHC’s Jurong West premises on Sunday, July 31, the event took two months of planning and preparation. Apart from the church’s regular elderly members, the DC workers also invited guests from eight senior recreational centers for this concert, including Lion Befrienders and Toa Payoh Carelink. To further publicize this year’s concert, a website (www.dc-oldies.com) containing photos and video footage of 2010’s concert was set up.
As this year’s Oldies Concert was larger in scale, DC roped in the help of some cell groups in CHC, as part of the Project SK2 (Serving and Knitting 2gether) initiative. At the same time, those who were directly involved in the concert as performers, sound, lighting and media crew, worked seamlessly and tirelessly to ensure the success of the concert. Possibly the most important aspect of the concert was the song selection. Event director Victor Lim, 34, explained how important it was that the team chose songs “that the elderly are familiar with and can relate to.”
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
There was a flurry of activity on the day itself as workers and volunteers arrived at the auditorium early in the morning to decorate the hall with balloons, streamers and a huge disco ball. On stage, the technical crew set up the stage for the singers and musicians. Backstage, the performers were busy putting on their makeup and costumes.
Wide smiles adorned the faces of the DC members as they made their way down to the main auditorium in eager anticipation. The workers and volunteers who ushered the elderly to their seats greeted their guests warmly as they gave out goodie bags, clappers and light sticks.
When the lights dimmed, the elderly cheered and clapped as the performers took to the stage. The singers were all decked out in retro costumes, some in fluorescent colors, others involving feather boas. It was a blast from the past for many of the elderly folk in the room, transporting them back to a time when they were singing along to these songs.
In between the performances, the DC worship team led the congregation in a short time of praise and worship. Zone supervisor Maria Tok shared a message about the blessings of God from the book of Proverbs, explaining how the Chinese character for the word “blessing” actually reveals the truth of God’s desire: to dwell with His people and bless them.
The concert featured old Hokkien, Cantonese and Mandarin favorites, such as “Give Me A Kiss” and “The Sound Of Raindrops,” much to the delight of the audience. Within minutes, the atmosphere in the room livened up as both the elderly and the DC church workers got into the mood for the evening and participated by singing along or waving their light sticks. The most touching moment during the concert was when one of the singers performed a moving rendition of “Mom’s Back,” dedicated to his mother who was among the audience, bringing tears to many.
The concert ended on a high and memorable note as the elderly stood and sang the familiar Cantonese favorite, “Friend.” Many in the audience held hands and hugged each other in a spontaneous show of camaraderie. It was definitely a fitting end to a wonderful evening for the elderly, and a sure sign that the hard work of the performers and crew was all for a worthy cause. Joyce Tan, 32, who performed that day, said, “Many of the elderly cannot afford to go to a big concert to watch famous singers. So it is great being able to bless them this way.” Her sentiments were reaffirmed by Yeo Ai Tee, 68, “I enjoyed all the songs, especially the older and slower ones. I brought my friend along today and she enjoyed herself, too.”