NUS Harmonica Orchestra
Established in 1981, the 60-member NUS Harmonica Orchestra performs on a diverse variety of harmonicas, ranging from the better-known chromatic harmonicas to bass and polyphonic harmonicas. In addition, the piano, guitar, flute, cello and percussion instruments feature prominently in many of its performances.
The group was Involved in joint performances with the NUS Rondalla and the NUS Guitar Ensemble in the early eighties before staging its inaugural Soiree Concert in 1988. The Orchestra and its ensembles have also performed at university functions under the ExxonMobil Campus Concert series and at outdoor venues such as Clarke Quay and the Singapore Botanical Gardens.
Its past concert-tours include: Thailand (1985), Indonesia (1987), Beijing and Shanghai, China (1995). The concert-tour to China consisted of performances and exchange programmes with experienced and renowned harmonica players from various provinces of China. During the performance in Trossingen , Germany in 1998, the group also attended workshop sessions at the Hohner Konservatorium Trossigen under Mr Yasuo Watani, one of the world's leading chromatic harmonica soloists. Mr Watani is currently Resident Harmonica Lecturer with the NUS Centre For the Arts.
To promote harmonica playing among young students, the NUS Harmonica Orchestra conducts courses and performs regularly in schools. The Orchestra organized the first Singapore Youth Harmonica Festival in December 2001 to promote an appreciation for the harmonica. The 2nd Singapore Youth Harmonica Festival was organized in 2004 with guest performances and masterclasses conducted by the late Mr Douglas Tate (UK) and Mr Yasuo Watani (Japan). The 3-day event comprised workshops, masterclasses, a competition and gala concert.
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