It is no mean feat bringing together 150 musicians
from seven ASEAN countries to perform together with only a week's
practice. But that’s exactly what Director Music DSP Idris
Mohd pulled off during Police Week, when the SPF hosted the 17th
ASEAN Chiefs of Police Conference. The combined band also presented
a remarkable multi-national repertoire to the public at Ngee Ann
City on 31 May and at Sentosa on 5 June.
Preparations began months ahead. "We selected the pieces and
sent it to the other music directors so that they would have time
to work on it. When we got together, we only had one week to get
it all ready," said DSP Idris.
There were language barriers, and SI Vong Ah Kau says that there
was quite a bit of sign language going on. But when it came to performing,
only one language prevailed - music.
Philippine officer, Police Superintendent Dante S. Tejada, summed
up the spirit of the event. "Drawing so many ASEAN cultures
together through music is "history being written" he said.
"I hope it becomes a tradition."
Despite being away in UK on a Bandmasters’ Course, Insp Amri
Amin was also very much with the SPF Band in spirit as it prepared
for the ASEANAPOL combined band performance.
For it was he who penned the theme song "ASEAN! ASEAN!"
which the band performed.
"DSP Idris asked me to write a piece putting various ASEAN
flavours together. It was not easy; Vietnam was especially tough
since we could not get hold of their ethnic music," he said.
"It was especially satisfying to see my music which was composed
in the UK, performed in Singapore and enjoyed by ASEAN police personnel."
said Insp Amri.
A memorable Singapore sojourn
The Singapore Police Force went to great lengths to ensure
that our visitors would not only be provided with full facilities
to work comfortably but that their after-work hours would be relaxing
and entertaining. Delegates were invited to attend the annual Police
Day Parade featuring an impressive line-up of over a thousand officers
from the divisions, Gurkha Contingent, NPCC, PTF, CID and Police
Academy. A special ASEANAPOL Golf Tournament was held for delegates
and their spouses, and the four day event ended with a banquet accompanied
by virtuoso performances by our versatile Police Band.