What you need to know about the 6th Nanchang International Military TattooThe Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Central Band is flying the flag high for Singapore at the 6th Nanchang International Military Tattoo.
// In Nanchang, China
Held in Nanchang in Jiangxi, China from 2 to 6 Nov, this military music festival aims to foster friendship and cultural exchange among participating countries from all over the world.
Singapore is represented by 42 musicians from the SAF Central Band, 12 personnel from the Silent Precision Drill Squad (SPDS), and five artistes from the Music & Drama Company (MDC).
Here are three things you need to know about the tattoo:
1. It's a grand international tattoo
Participating in the tattoo are about 1,000 military musicians from 11 countries – China, Columbia, Croatia, Egypt, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom and Singapore – who will showcase a myriad of musical, military and cultural acts.
Joining these military musicians are about 2,000 young musicians from schools and universities in Jiangxi province.
2. It will be watched by over 10 million people
This year's tattoo also celebrates China's 70th National Day. More than 400,000 people are expected to watch the street parade, public performances, concerts and tattoo shows in Nanchang.
In addition, over 10 million people are expected to tune in to broadcasts of the tattoo on three Chinese television networks.
3. S'pore to showcase its multiculturalism and history
Besides performing at the opening ceremony and street parade, the SAF team will put up three public performances, a concert, as well as two tattoo shows.
For the tattoo show, they will perform an original composition which tells the story of how Singapore developed into a first-world country by uniting its people from different races
China locals impressed with the SAF team
As part of the Tattoo, the SAF Central Band performed a medley of popular Chinese songs by poprock band 五月天 (Mayday) in a show at Jiangxi Agricultural University on 3 Nov, to the delight of the mostly student crowd.
Third-year student Chen Qi,19, said: "I am delighted as these are songs that I listen to. All of them performed brilliantly, especially the soloists."
The SAF Central Band's public performance at Cheng Bi Hu Lake park was also extremely well-received by local audiences. Madam Yang Shu Rong, 35, a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner who watched the show, said: "It's a fantastic performance by Singapore, we enjoyed it thoroughly. They are also very polite, warm and friendly."
Raring to go
The SAF team are thrilled by the warm reception from the Chinese, and can't wait to put up more great shows over the next three days of the tattoo.
"It's been an interesting experience, my first time performing in China. I am definitely going to do my best to put up a good performance for the remaining shows." — Corporal (CPL) Ahmad Shaqqil Azhar bin Samsuri, 22, a Full-time National Serviceman (NSF) from SPDS
"We felt very welcomed by the people of Nanchang. Singapore and China have very close bilateral ties, not just in economy but also in defence. We are very thrilled to represent our country, marching along the streets of Nanchang and hearing our Chinese friends cheering us on." — Military Expert (ME) 5 Tan Aik Kee Ken Steven, Band Conductor
"It's really nice to see all the different countries coming together to put up a great show. I was really proud of representing Singapore, showcasing our costumes and our multicultural society." — CPL Tristan Kevin, 20, an NSF MDC artiste