The Band World

Growing Singapore’s Double Reed Community

Evolved from a few casual bassoonist meetings, the 2017 edition of the Double Reeds Day (DRD) returns with a bigger and more exciting program.

“DRD is a place and time where double reeders come together and meet other double reeders. This to me is the most important goal of the event, because we seldom see other double reeders in rehearsals or even concerts due to a lack of requirement in symphonic bands or orchestras,” said Sim Kang Rong, one of its organizers.

“As a bassoon enthusiast who plays to enjoy, I am fortunate to have interactions with experienced bassoonists and thus have the easy way when it comes to issues on technique, equipment, and rehearsal mentality. Sometimes, all you need is a nudge from somebody more experienced and there you go; problem solved.”

Bassoonist Emerald Chee shares the same view, that it is important to gather the double reed community as the scene is smaller when compared to clarinets, flutes or trumpets. She believes that organizing such an event may help spur the players on, and together, the bassoonists and oboists can explore repertoire pertaining to their instrumental combination.

“We may sometimes face problems with our instruments or reeds, and it is good to know about such a community that we can turn to for help. Also, ordering canes in bulk will help distribute shipping costs!”

The one day event is open to all, despite catering specifically to double reed players. According to current YSTCM oboist Grace Tan See Von, it’s a rare enough sight to see more than 4 oboists and bassoonists gathered in one place at the same time.

“DRD has brought the whole community closer and created an opportunity for double reeders to learn from one another. We always strive for it to be bigger than previous ones with more people joining each year, but the goal remains as a platform for young double reeders to build friendships with others.”

“Everyone should come and listen to how an ensemble of at least 20 oboists and bassoonists sounds like!”

From 12pm to 7pm, DRD will be packed with activities such as reed adjustment workshops by Yong How Keen and Daniel Aw Yong Tian, a combined concert and a finale mass jam. There will also be masterclasses by Rachel Walker (principal oboe) and Zhang Jin Min (principal bassoon, 1986-2016) of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

“The classes are targeted at young potential musicians, in hopes of building their fundamentals. The participants and observers in the masterclass can definitely take away valuable advice from the masters,” Emerald urged.

The upcoming Double Reeders Day will be held on 3 September at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. More than 50 participants are expected to sign up for the event.

“I am grateful for what I’ve received and would very much like to pass it on at our upcoming DRD. Scale wise, big or small, it doesn’t really matter. The most important thing is to come.

And beyond that, meet people and talk to people!” Kang Rong exclaimed.


Double Reeds Day 2017

3 September (Saturday)
Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, 12pm – 7pm

Sign up here!

Band Post
Band Post

A contributing editor at TBP.

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