On Sunday evening (13 May 2012), members of the public had a chance to witness up close a rehearsal by the Orchestra of the Music Makers (OMM) as they prepared for their performance of Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du Printemps) at the 2012 Singapore Arts Festival. About 20 people, mostly students, were present for OMM's "Rite" Experience, which began with a presentation about OMM's history and overall vision given by its young President, the 22-year-old undergraduate Yeo Ying Hao. A brief history of the ground-breaking work was also provided. The audience clearly identified with this young man's zeal and passion for music.
The rehearsal was conducted by OMM's Music Director Chan Tze Law, who combined a detailed, serious but informal approach in his direction. There was an element of humour that diffused potentially tense situations when the ensemble occasionally struggled with this new and very difficult score. Most of the young musicians were playing Stravinsky for the very first time! Visitors to the "Rite" Experience were designated seats within the orchestra ranks, where they were given a chance to feel what it was like sitting amidst the ongoing action. They were given a chance to clap along to the complex rhythms of the score, and was that difficult! All the better to appreciate the lot of the musicians, who actually had to play their parts in tune and perfect timing!
|A panoramic view from where I was sitting initially, at the periphery. As one goes in and sits within the orchestra's ranks, the sense of involvement with the musicians also increases.|
|The first violins led by concertmaster Seah Huan Yuh at work, and taking a breather.|
|Two views of the double basses.|
|From the back of the orchestra|
|The two timpanists have their work cut out for them. Part of a percussion score (right).|
|Another view from the percussion.|
|A friendly chat with the maestro at the end of the rehearsal session.|
The Orchestra of the Music Makers will also perform Holst's Beni Mora (Oriental Suite) and the World Premiere of Ho Chee Kong's Passage, a work for cello and orchestra (with Qin Li-Wei) that has been conceived as a prequel to the Stravinsky. This not to be missed concert take place at Esplanade Concert Hall on 1 and 2 June 2012.