Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed) Digest

Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed) Digest
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Welcome back to another Sunday at The URA Centre as Pianovers gathered for the 106th weekly Pianovers Meetup. Pianovers Meetup is a weekly gathering of like-minded people who not only enjoy music but the company between families and friends as well.

The Meetup began with a dinner at 5pm and today, joining us was Yong Meng, the Founder of ThePiano.SG, a family including Ng Kai Di, her grandfather and her mother, Tracy Lin. We also welcome Ng Mun Yee, Lim Ee Fong and Elyn Goh at dinner.

Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Log cake
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Wesley Chang playing
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Fion Teo

Today's meetup is a Christmas-themed meetup, and Pianovers are encouraged to perform Christmas-related pieces and dressed in red, green or white for a fantastic group picture. In fact, we have many Pianovers who contributed goodies ranging from cookies to gingerbread man, log cakes, chocolates, champagne and many more. And we want to thank everyone for making the 106th Meetup a wonderful Christmas ambience. Your contributions definitely made this event a joyful festive meetup!

We are also very excited to share that not only did Pianovers Meetup #106 has a record-breaking attendance of 67 Pianovers, we also have a brand-new record for the highest number of registered piano players -- a total of 35 performers! What an amazing breakthrough!

Time for announcements before the Mini-Recital started. There will be no Pianovers Meetup on 23rd and 30th December 2018. So, Pianovers Meetup #107 will be on 6th January 2019. We hope to see all of you in the new year!

Pianovers Recital 2018

The list of performers for Pianovers Recital is out. All 18 performance slots are already sold out, within a day! We want to thank all of our registered performers for your support. We all look forward to having all of you on the stage very soon.

Pianovers Recital is a platform for aspiring pianists to perform. They may come from all walks of life, but their passion for music is indisputable. So, come and support the performances by these enthusiastic pianists! A ticket is $12 each. Free seating. Buy now!

Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Xavier Hui, and Jeremy Foo performing
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Emma performing for us
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Pek Siew Tin performing

Jeremy Foo and Savier Hui started first with today's Mini-Recital. They performed the Hungarian Dance No. 5 by Johannes Brahms. Do you know that it was actually based on on the csárdás by Béla Kéler, known as Bártfai emlék. When Brahms composed Hungarian Dance No. 5, he mistakenly assumed Bártfai emlék was a traditional folk song.

Next was Emma who performed Sonata in A, Kp. 323 (L. 95) by Domenico Scarlatti, who was born in the same year with two other famous composers J.S. Bach and Handel. This sonata is also part of the ABRSM Piano 2017-2018 Grade 5 Exam Syllabus. An interesting trivia: During his lifetime, Scarlatti wrote a total of 555 sonatas!

Pek Siew Tin performed 容易受伤的女人 by 中島美雪. This song was based on a 1977 Japanese song 口紅, sung initially by ちあき なおみ (千秋直美). It became even more popular after 王菲 Faye Wong covered it in 1992.

Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Albert Chan performing
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Erika Iishiba performing
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Corrine Ying, Goh Zensen, Teo Gee Yong, Lim Ee Fong, and Gan Theng Beng performing

Our regular Pianover, Albert Chan played 鲜花满月楼 by 顾家辉. This song was featured in the  1976 movie 陆小凤, starring 刘松仁 (Damian Lau Chung Yan), and 郑少秋 (Adam Cheng). The film, as a matter of fact, was based on the WuXia novel 陆小凤传奇 (The Legend of Lu Xiaofeng), written by 古龙 (Gu Long). Next, Albert performs another song, 知床旅情 (Shiretoko Ryojō) by 森繁久弥. 

Erika Iishiba was up next, and she performed Études-Tableaux, Op. 33, No. 7 in G Minor composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff. This song was originally published as No. 8 but later renamed No. 7 as one of the original pieces went missing. The missing piece was later revived and added back again. Études-tableaux (study pictures) are studies on the technical aspect of piano playing and miniature tone poems. They are meant to be "picture pieces", basically "musical evocations of external visual stimuli". Although Rachmaninoff did not reveal how he came up with the idea of these compositions, he did say, "I do not believe in the artist that reveals too much of his images. Let [the listener] paint for themselves what it most suggests.".

Next was an ensemble performance comprising Gan Theng Beng (piano), Teo Gee Yong (acoustic guitar), Corrine Ying (violin), Lim Ee Fong (ukulele) and Goh Zensen (pianica). They performed "Canon in D" by Johann Pachelbel. From the beginning of Meetup #101, we have been exploring the versatility of the piano with additional instruments with Ensemble Performances. This evening’s ensemble performance was the largest we ever saw so far, and is an excellent example for future ensemble performance, and we encourage all of you to invite your music friends along to accompany you on your next piano performance.

Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Gavin Koh performing for us
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Emma, and Marcus performing
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Rowen Wong performing

Another regular Pianover, Gavin Koh, performed Schmetterling ("Butterfly"), Op. 81, No. 4 by Gustav Merkel. Gustav was a German organist and composer, and in fact, he had some lessons with Robert Schumann in his boyhood. This particular salon piece is a well-known piano musical piece.

Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Applause for Kendrick Ong Bing Shao
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Lim Woan Ling performing
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Mayuri Gupta performing

In alignment with the Christmas-themed Meetup, here is the list of performers who performed Christmas pieces:

  1. Gavin Koh

  2. Janice Liew, and Jessie Quah
  3. Janice Liew
  4. Emma, and Marcus
  5. Rowen Wong
    • Carols of the Bells
  6. Kendrick Ong Bing Shao (medley of 10 pieces)
  7. Lim Woan Ling
  8. GladDana Hu
  9. Mayuri Gupta
  10. Chris Khoo (medley of 4 pieces)

Thank you, everyone, for getting into the Christmas spirit as you all performed the Christmas pieces.

Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Wesley Chang performing
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Wang Yifei performing
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Wang Yiting performing

After the Christmas segment ended, Wesley Chang was next, and he performed 痴心绝对 composed by 蔡伯南, which was published in 2002 and sung by 李圣杰. This song quickly became popular in many Asian countries. However, despite its popularity, a lot of people still don't know how 蔡伯南 looks like.

Wang Yifei played Prelude No. 1, Allegro ben ritmato e deciso by George Gershwin. This song is one of the three pieces from Three Preludes. It was published in 1926. Initially, George Gershwin planned to compose 24 preludes; however, the number was decreased to seven in manuscript form, and then lessened further to five when performed “live”. It was further reduced to three when it finally published. As a matter of fact, two of the remaining unpublished preludes were rearranged for solo violin and piano pieces.

Wang Yiting performed A Thousand Years by Christina Perri and David Hodges, used in the 2011 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack from "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1". This song, in fact, was about the romance between the movie characters, Edward and Bella. To date, the popular music video has achieved 1.1 billion views and 6.9 million likes on YouTube.

Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), David Ennes performing
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Chia I-Wen, and Jenny Soh
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), May Ling performing

David Ennes played Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K. 331, 1st movt, Theme by Mozart. From this Sonata, the last movement, "Alla Turca", named by Mozart himself, also referred to as the "Turkish March", is often heard on its own. This song is one of Mozart's best-known piano pieces.

Chia I-Wen was next, and she performed When The Saints Go Marching In and "Long Long Ago". Chia I-Wen may look young, but she has clocked many public performances. In fact, she will also be performing in the upcoming Pianovers Recital on 28 December 2018. We look forward to seeing her perform on the 28th and other bigger stages in the future! 

May Ling played The Gift by Jim Brickman and Tom Douglas. This song was published in 1997 and often played on radios around Christmas as it is part of Brickman's holiday album, which features the same title as the song.

Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Tyler Pettit performing
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Nao Aoyama performing
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Ng Kai Di, and Tracy Lin performing

Tyler Pettit performed Take the Long Way Home by Roger Hodgson. Under the invitation of his uncle, Chris Khoo, Tyler was here together with his mother, Adeline. We were all very thrilled to have him with us today as he splendidly performed his debut piece. Now residing in Canada, they are here in Singapore for a holiday, and we hope to see them again soon in their next trip!

Nao Aoyama was up next, and she performed I Am by Manami Morita. This song was published in 2011 in the album of the same title song. This song, in fact, was used as the second opening theme for TV Asahi's Hodo station and also became one of the qualifying round songs in the 8th KONAMI Arcade Championship. Nao delivered an engaging performance, and look forward to her next performance. 

Ng Kai Di and Tracy Lin were next, and they performed When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)Rainbow Connection, and Miniature Overture from the Nutcracker. It was lovely to see mother-daughter duet pair up to perform these musical pieces. We always believe that parents have an important role to play in their child's piano education. Parents should spend more time with their child than the piano teacher; their encouragement and motivation can most likely go a long way towards helping their child in his/her piano education!

Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Jacob performing
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Dhafin Rizaldi performing
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Keisha Anargya Devina performing

Jacob performed a piece of classical music, Sonata in E minor Op. 90 No. 27, 1st movt by Ludwig van Beethoven who dedicated it to his benefactor and friend, Prince Moritz von Lichnowsky. Beethoven's piano sonatas mostly contained three or four movements; however, this composition comprised of two movements, which were interestingly titled as Kampf zwischen Kopf und Herz ("A Contest Between Head and Heart") and Conversation mit der Geliebten ("Conversation with the Beloved"). As can be seen from the titles, the sonata referred to Prince Moritz's romance with a woman he was thinking of marrying.

Next up was Dhafin Praditya Rizaldi, who performed Tale As Old As Time by Alan Menken. This classic tune is the theme song from the movie "Beauty and the Beast". This Disney animal film tells the tale of the relationship between its two main characters, Belle and the Beast. Initially, they were introduced as two very distinct characters, who came together against all the odds, changed to be better for one another and ultimately, shared a life together. This popular tune is played during the ballroom sequence in the movie, and the lyrics allude to the timeless nature of love. "Tale as Old as Time", in fact, was ranked #62 in the American Film Institute list of the top 100 songs.

Keisha Anargya Devina was next, and she performed River Flows In You by Yiruma, who is a South Korean composer and pianist. His original name is Lee Ru-ma. "River Flows In You" and "Kiss The Rain" are known to be his most famous pieces, and were were included in his most popular album, “First Love”, that was released in 2001. The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Ontario, Canada has placed Yiruma's pieces around Grade 7 in terms of their movement and reach.

Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Sandy performing
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Group picture
Pianovers Meetup #106 (Christmas Themed), Fion Teo, Wang Yiting, and Wang Yifei

Sandy performed Lyric Pieces, Book 3, Op. 43, No. 1, Sommerfugl (Butterfly) by Edvard Grieg. "Lyric Pieces" is a set of 66 short pieces, published in 10 volumes from 1867 to 1901, meant to be performed by a solo pianist. The collection includes several of his best-known pieces, such as "Wedding Day at Troldhaugen". Edvard Grieg was also famously known to be the composer for other popular pieces such as "Anitra's Dance" and "In the Hall of the Mountain King".

Following the end of the Mini-Recital, the evening moved to the Open Segment. Everyone took a group picture and next, it was a surprise sing-along Happy Birthday for Audrey Cheong and Chris Khoo! Kendrick played the piano accompaniment, and everyone sang along! 

Everyone, then, gathered to chat and connect with one another while having the last bites of the goodies. Subsequently, a large jamming party commenced as Pianovers started playing on the piano, electronic keyboard, bass guitar, cajun, acoustic guitar, pianica, violin, and ukulele! Many songs were played and sung along by Pianovers. It was definitely a fantastic closure to 2018 at Pianover Meetup #106!

We wish everyone and every Pianover a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! See all of you in 2019!