PANO – Melodies of friendship between Vietnam and Singapore will be sounded at the Military Theatre in Hanoi on the evening of September 11th and at Ly Thai To Garden on the afternoon of September 12th.
At present, nearly one hundred participating musicians and dancers from two countries’ military bands are rehearsing to ensure the success of this cultural exchange, which will mark the 40th anniversary of of Vietnam-Singapore diplomatic ties and the visit of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Vietnam.
Military expert 4 (Captain) Tan Aik Kee Ken Steven, head of the Singaporean military art troupe, said that 48 musicians from the Singapore Armed Forces’ Central Band and six dancers from the Singapore Armed Forces Music and Drama Company will join this significant program, together with 40 instrumentalists from the ceremonial military band of the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA).
For almost all Singaporean friends, they are visiting Hanoi for the first time and it is also their first overseas concert performance. Thus, they are excited and doing their utmost to make the performance a success, contributing to the fruitful relations between Vietnam and Singapore.
Tan said that they have rehearsed for this significant program in Singapore for one month now and in Vietnam since September 9th. For the event, they would like to introduce different ethnic groups in Singapore, including Chinese, Indian, and Japanese, through the language of music. Accordingly, the Vietnamese audience can imagine a busy morning, nice family atmosphere as well as other typical cultures of Singapore, though they have not set foot in this country yet.
Apart from those pieces of music, the Singapore Armed Forces’ Central Band and the VPA’s ceremonial military band will perform two Vietnamese compositions and two foreign works together.
Regarding the foreign works, Tan stressed that the work, “Memories of Friendship” composed by Japanese composer Satoshi Yagisawa, was selected because it represented the close friendship that Vietnam and Singapore have had for the past 40 years. The composition will evoke that close and fruitful friendship.
The other composition is “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” which, as Tan said, will be a nice ending for this meaningful exchange. In a joyful voice, Tan held that the star is the representative of the two countries. Vietnam is a star. So is Singapore. “Both countries will continue progressing economically, even their bilateral ties”, the Singaporean military expert said.
Of the two Vietnamese tunes, Tan will conduct one while the other will be conducted by Eminent Artist-Colonel Nguyen Van Dong from the VPA band.
Tan said that his conducted work, “Hanh khuc thang loi” (“Victory March”), has helped them understand how victorious Vietnam is and they admired Vietnam much.
Like other foreigners, Singaporean friends found language a barrier for communication. However, music, an international language, acts as an amazing and powerful tool to address that barrier. With the industrious rehearsal of both bands and the experience of members, they found it not difficult to combine their performance together.
Though it is their first visit to Hanoi, the Singaporean friends have experienced how busy the capital city of Hanoi is and how kind, hospitable and friendly Vietnamese people are. However, it is undeniable that roads in Hanoi are quite different from in Singapore where everything is systematic and structured.
They have also all tasted the Vietnamese dish “Pho”, and some feel a bit like home now in Hanoi.
It is sure that the performance in Hanoi will be a hallmark in their life, and that the diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Singapore will continue developing together with the enhancement of the two armies’ relations.