Bandemonium VIII

On 7 December 2019, the Raffles Symphonic Band, under the direction of their conductor Mr Lim Yean Hwee, performed to a sold-out audienceat the Albert Hong Hall. Titled Bandemonium VIII: Fiesta, this annual concert featured an eclectic and culturally-diverse programme including Suite of Old American Dances (Robert Russell Bennett), Danzon No. 2 (Arturo Marquez, arr. Oliver Nickel), The Birds of North (Hayato Hirose) and jazz classic Spain (Chick Corea, arr. Tohru Minakuchi).

The Raffles Symphonic Band performing jazz classic, Spain. Photo by Syu Rui Ying and Xanelle Tan

The concert opened with Suite of Old American Dances, each movement depicting a distinct dance genre from cakewalk to ragtime. This was followed by another dance style, this time from Cuba, where prominent solos on the clarinet and saxophone charmed the audience with their stylistic interpretation capturing the spirit of ‘sensuality, nostalgia, and jubilant escape’ as described by the composer. 

Photo by Syu Rui Ying and Xanelle Tan

The second half of the concert gave greater prominence to student-led flute and saxophone ensembles, playing works by Satoshi Yagisawa and the famous Detective Conan Main Theme. Our resident student conductor (Chen Ruikang) also led from the podium with John Mackey’s Sheltering Sky, which instilled a brief moment of serenity and respite from the highly energetic and rhythmically driving programme thus far. Finally, as any experienced band knows only too well, the RSB launched into an encore piece Caravan by Duke Ellington before the audience could react, featuring high-energy and equally splendid solos before the curtain was brought down for the evening.

The RSB performing an encore piece, Caravan. Photo by Syu Rui Ying and Xanelle Tan

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#Arts #school happenings

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