What you need to know about the 6th Nanchang International Military Tattoo

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04 Nov 2019 | COMMUNITY

What you need to know about the 6th Nanchang International Military Tattoo

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Central Band is flying the flag high for Singapore at the 6th Nanchang International Military Tattoo.

// Story Koh Eng Beng / Photos Chua Soon Lye

// In Nanchang, China

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Central Band is flying the flag high for Singapore at the 6th Nanchang International Military Tattoo.

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:

The SAF contingent, alongside those from Egypt (to its left) and New Zealand (to its right), at the opening ceremony at Bayi Square on 2 Nov.

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.

More than 100,000 enthusiastic spectators throng Zhongshan Road to catch a glimpse of multinational bands marching past for the 2.5km street parade.

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.

The SAF Band marching along the streets of Nanchang to their signature tunes.

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.

The SAF team hard at work rehearsing for the tattoo.

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, as well as with support from countries worldwide.

 


Military Expert (ME) 1 Isabelle Wong singing a rendition of Mandopop hit 小幸运 (A little happiness) at a concert in Jiangxi Agricultural University.

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.
 

CPL Shaqqil (front row, far right) and his SPDS mates wowing the crowd with their rifle drills at Xiu Hu Square.

"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

ME5 Tan (right) conducting with Mr Yang Wei, 43, conductor of Jiangxi Agricultural University military band, for the university concert finale.

"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

CPL Kevin (centre) with fellow MDC artistes at the street parade.

"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

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