Thursday, September 29, 2011

WATCHING AN ANGKLUNG CONCERT - IN SINGAPORE

This was something I had been looking for. Initially, I found a blog that belonged to Mr. Dzul Rabul, a music teacher cum angklung trainer in Singapore. I tried to correspond with him via e-mail and he was kind enough to respond to my e-mail. I had also watched his students performances on Youtube and was deeply impressed. I wonder whether I could one day watch any live show he would produce and to my delight, Mr. Dzul notified me of the concert that was about to be held.


The crowd started to form a queue outside the hall before 4 p.m.

trying to capture a self-photo before the show started

The initial plan was to go with the school's angklung group members. However, as majority of the angklung shakers are the form three students who are about to sit for their PMR exam in a week's time, in the end I had only one member to accompany me, Afham Shah (and he almost could not make it but might have a last-minute change of mind).

The concert was held in a large auditorium at Republic Polytechnic Cultural Centre in Woodlands, Singapore. In way, I went to watch a concert abroad on that day - which could be considered an international affair :)

waiting eagerly

In the concert, there were six schools taking part to showcase their talent and skills and the students were all trained by Mr. Dzul himself.




The students consisted of pupils of primary schools as well as secondary schools. There was a variety of songs selection, from the heart-warming traditional songs, spiritual and middle-east melody (performed by a religious school) and to songs of a more contemporary genre.

all the participants during the curtain call

The concert was awesome. I was truly impressed and had greatly enjoyed myself and I believed the audience had shared the same feeling. The people in the hall could be seen clapping their hands to the angklung music and at times, especially when the last group was performing, they were singing along to the melody of the songs they knew like Jason Miraz's "I'm Yours".

outside the hall, after the show

I managed to see the maestro himself after everything was over, to congratulate him in person and to have a short chat. I also had to thank him for providing me with the information that had allowed me to witness my first real angklung concert. Perhaps one of these days I would have the chance to work with him, either to play the instrument or at least to see how the training is done.


discovering our way to the Woodlands bus interchange on foot which was actually very near to the Polytechnic

All in all, it was a trip worth going and the distance worth travelling (we took the bus from Johor Bahru all the way to Woodlands, alright). If there is going to be another angklung concert in the future, I will not hesitate to go again and this time I will try to get more people to join in.

I managed to record the performance of two schools. Before the show started, there was an announcement prohibiting any video-recording but everybody seemed to be doing that on their cameras and handphones so I took the risk. However, I am yet to ask Mr. Dzul whether it will be okay to upload the recordings in my blog or youtube so I can share with you what you have been missing.