We’ve very excited to be performing at the ASEAN University Games and representing SMU at this historic occasion. The organising team at OSL wanted to use this opportunity to encourage greater collaboration between student and faculty members, especially when it comes to student life. Our band fits right in. We have 15 members made up of one faculty member — that’s me — current SMU students and alumni, and a few non-SMU musicians as well.
For the ASEAN University Games, we wanted our songs to reflect ASEAN’s music and culture. Being a part of ASEAN and as the hosts, we thought why not pay tribute to Singaporean composers and share their work with our audience? We’ll be performing a song composed by Liang Wern Fook and made famous by Kit Chan. We’ll also be performing songs by Charlie Lim and Dru Chen, both well-known local musicians today. Together with three jazz funk songs arranged to suit our instrumentation, we’ll be paying a tribute to our local heritage, while playing to our strengths and showcasing who we are as a band too.
Also we’re very excited about performing with SMU Chinese Orchestra (SMUCO) during the SMU Arts Festival because this is the first time we’re collaborating with another outfit, to create something brand new. We’ll be combining instrumentations from a Chinese orchestra and a big band like ours, to bring Chinese music and Western jazz funk music together. This represents a challenge, but also an exciting opportunity. Looking to the future, we’d love to perform on an outdoor stage as well, perhaps Baybeats at the Esplanade.