Since 2020, NUS Alumni Sing-Along (ASA) has celebrated National Day online over Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alone in their homes or with a few invited friends, members sang along with the song leader while muted on zoom.
On Monday, August 15th this year, ASA members all decked out in red and white were able to celebrate National Day on-site at Shaw Foundation Alumni House. Guest speaker for the day, Mr. Desmond Moey (Engineering ’84), more commonly known as Dezz, Managing Director of Serendip Showbiz Pte Ltd and Board Member of Musical Theatre Ltd, an Arts Charity with IP status; kicked off the celebration with a talk on Why Write Songs?. As a songwriter, show producer and vocal coach, Dezz highlighted different reasons why people write songs – for entertainment or to express one’s feelings, values and beliefs. In addition, he highlighted how songs could be structured, and how with different series of notes, chord patterns or musical phrases, songs could grab the listener’s attention. For example, the “hook” – a repetitive musical phrase which captures our attention – was often said to be what makes a song popular. Needless to say, Dezz was also able to “hook” the attention of the audience, leaving them hungry for knowledge on music creation.
Following the talk, ASA members led the sing-along by belting out local national favourites such as “Home”, “Count on Me Singapore”, “Stand Up for Singapore”, “Bunga Sayang”, “Voices of the Heart (小人物的心声)” and many more. The ASA Ukulele Group and members also gave their renditions of the evergreens and pop songs like “My Way”, “The Young Ones” and “Una Paloma Blanca”, while the audience sang their hearts out to these upbeat tunes.
For the first time since the pandemic, refreshments were also served on-site. What would a birthday celebration be without a birthday cake? To the delight of everyone present, Mrs Jenny Gan-Kwa Siew Eng (Arts and Social Sciences ’96) wheeled in the birthday cake to celebrate the occasion. The celebration rounded off with everyone getting on their feet doing a line dance to the song “Y.M.C.A.”
ASA’s next sing along session will be the “Christmas Celebration Concert” in December, and they look forward to welcoming members to join them in closing 2022.
Submitted by Ms Joanna Loo (Science ’71)