BHSO x Kagoshima

Kagoshima-Singapore Arts and Cultural Exchange Programme 2017


28 – 31 October 2017 ~ 25 of our musicians participated in the Kagoshima-Singapore Arts and Cultural Exchange Programme 2017.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we would not forget.

Not only did the exchange give our string players a whole new experience in chamber music playing, we were also greatly touched by the warm reception of the audience in Kagoshima.

The main performance took place at the Houzan Hall in Kagoshima, for the annual Kenmin Bunka Festa (which translates to Citizens’ Cultural Festival in Kagoshima)! We performed Kelly Tang’s “Three Folk Dances” (featuring local tunes, Rasa Sayang, Bengawan Solo and Di Tanjong Katong), as well as Grieg’s Holberg Suite, Vivaldi’s “Winter”, Piazzolla’s “Winter” (Inverno Porteno), the popular local melody “Moon Represents my Heart” (月亮代表我的心) and Shanghai Jazz (also arranged by Kelly Tang, adapted from Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White by Pérez Prado).

Following this stellar experience, we then visited the Reimei Junior & Senior High School (れいめい中学校・高等学校), where we performed pieces such as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 mvmt 1 and ‘March’ from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite together with the students. The students were very enthusiastic and keen to practice their English with us!

Through the interactions, we learnt that the students are extremely passionate about classical music. They practice every day after school for two hours, and their orchestra is the only symphony orchestra in Kagoshima!

Finally, after all performances were done, our team were treated to a half-day tour of the beautiful Mt Sakurajima, a beloved landmark and symbol of Kagoshima. We also visited the Amami-no-Sato “Village of Amami Island”, for some fun and relaxation, where we engaged in a unique Tie & Dye activity of making a plant-dyed handkerchief, and enjoyed “Keihan” (鶏飯, “chicken-rice”), a local dish from the Amami Islands.

This exchange was organised by the Kagoshima Prefectural Government, in liaison with the People’s Association, Braddell Heights Community Club, and The Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR). It is an ongoing biennial exchange programme between Kagoshima and Singapore, that has been going on for the past 35 years since 1982!

“The BHSO team is highly grateful for this experience, and would like to express our appreciation for being included in this programme,” said Adrian Tan, Music Director.

Indeed, this trip was an eye-opener and a fruitful experience for us, and we look forward to more of such inspirational and educational collaborations in future.


A big thank you to the organisers at the Kagoshima Prefectural Government, People’s Association, Braddell Heights Community Club, and The Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) for making this possible!


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